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VIRTUAL PRIDE MONTH AUTHOR EVENT // Kate Milliken in conversation with Melissa Cistaro

Due to the State of Califorina Shelter-In-Place order regarding protective measures for COVID-19, this will now be a VIRTUAL author event hosted by Zoom conference.

Join Napa Bookmine for a special virtual Pride Month event with author Kate Milliken in conversation with Melissa Cistaro on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 5:00PM PDT. The two will be discussing Kate's new book KEPT ANIMALS.

This is a VIRTUAL event and will take place on Zoom. You must RSVP to attend. RSVP to to receive the meeting link and password. This is a free event. If you are able, a donation of $5 is suggested to help us cover costs. To donate click here.

To help us offset costs, you can also purchase Kate's book in advance here and Melissa's book here.

Please note: we will be cutting off entry 10 minutes into the event to avoid interruptions. Thank you for understanding!


KEPT ANIMALS is both a tribute to 90’s-era California in all its dusty glamour and an unforgettable portrait of three teenage girls from wildly different backgrounds negotiating crises big and small in the days leading up to a devastating wildfire. The girls’ entangled friendships and shifting loyalties and desires are at the heart of this spectacular novel.

This novel also has an unforgettable backstory: Kate Milliken grew up living in Santa Monica and riding horses in Topanga Canyon, California, very aware of the hierarchies and social complexities particular to 1990s L.A. In 1993, the day of the real-life Old Topanga Fire, she found herself outside the fire zone, fighting her way back in to try to help rescue the horses at her barn. At once deeply personal and electrically connected to the current moment, Kept Animals is an epic reimagining of the forces that might have led to that real-life tragedy, by a writer who now lives in San Anselmo, California, another fire corridor, and is all too aware of the precariousness and dangerous beauty of that landscape.  


Having grown up riding horses in Topanga Canyon, California, Kate wanted to return to the dusty trails and easy camaraderie she knew at the barn, but with a writers’ eye, considering the hierarchies and social complexities particular to 1990s L.A. The result is Kate’s debut novel, Kept Animals, a story of mothers and daughters, loss and betrayal, friends and lovers, and a tragic accident that forever changes the lives of three very different families.

In 2006, Kate earned her MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars and her short stories have since appeared in Fiction, Zyzzyva, Santa Monica Review, and New Orleans Review, among others. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, anthologized in the California Prose Directory, New Writing from the Golden State, and received runner-up for the Rick DeMarinis award as well as the Dana Award for the Novel. Kate has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Tin House Writer’s Workshop, and she has previously written for television. In 2013, Julie Orringer chose Kate’s collection of stories, If I’d Known You Were Coming, for the Iowa Award and it was published by the University of Iowa Press.


Melissa Cistaro is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother (US edition) and the Canadian bestseller Without My Mother (HarperCollins Canada). Her stories, essays and interviews have appeared in The New Ohio Review, Brevity, The Huffington Post, PBS: To the Contrary, Good Housekeeping and the anthologies Love and Profanity and Cherished. Melissa mentors writers and teaches memoir writing workshops in the Bay Area and beyond.



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Kept Animals: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501188589
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - April 21st, 2020

Kept Animals is a darkly beautiful book, tender yet powerful, an exquisite exploration of hurt and desire, the why of wanting, taking, and giving.

Pieces of My Mother: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492623113
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, Warehouse ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks - February 2nd, 2016

"A story that lingers in the heart long after the last page is turned." --HOPE EDELMAN, bestselling author of Motherless Daughters and The Possibility of Everything

This provocative, poignant memoir of a daughter whose mother left her behind by choice begs the question: Are we destined to make the same mistakes as our parents?