Amy Wallen

The Book Catapult is proud to host a book release party for acclaimed local author Amy Wallen on Saturday, March 3rd at 5:00pm. Amy will be in conversation with author and CityBeat columnist Jim Ruland, discussing her new memoir, When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories. And since this is a party, we will have a modest amount of complimentary adult libations on hand as well as $10 taco plates from Tacos La Mezcla! The party will start around 4:00, so come on down early and eat some tacos with us! 

When Amy Wallen learns her parents are grave robbers and her memory is out of focus, she tries to figure out what truly happened. She excavates both their sojourn overseas and how her family was one-by-one sent away from her until she was left alone at the age of seven in Lagos, Nigeria. When We Were Ghouls, A Memoir of Ghost Stories is about a search for family. In 1971, Amy’s blue-collar Southern peripatetic family was transferred from Ely, Nevada to Lagos, Nigeria. From Nevada to Nigeria, and elsewhere, When We Were Ghouls follows a family that has been dispersed around the world, a family who, like ghosts, come and go and slip through Amy’s fingers making it unclear if they were ever there. A cross between Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, with some Indiana Jones thrown in, the tale starts in the middle, around a pre-Inca grave her family uncovers. We see her family members appear and disappear in Peru and Bolivia and beyond. On one level the story is about family, but it also represents how with both innocence and denial our worldly treasures are neglected - not just our children, but the artifacts of humanity, and ultimately humanity itself.

Amy Wallen is the associate director at the New York State Writers Institute and teaches creative writing at the University of California, San Diego Extension. Her first novel, Moon Pies and Movie Starswas a Los Angeles Times bestseller. She lives right here in South Park, San Diego.


Event date: 
Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
3010-B Juniper Street
San Diego, CA 92104
When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories (American Lives ) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803296954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Nebraska Press - March 1st, 2018