Events | Virtual Reading and Conversation with Villa Aurora Fellow Maike Wetzel

Online | July 24, 2020 | 6:00 PM

Villa Aurora Fellow Maike Wetzel is going to read from her new novel "Elly", followed by a conversation with Lisa Napoli. An event in collaboration with Book Soup Los Angeles.

A missing child is a nightmare for any family. But what happens when they come back?

Eleven-year-old Elly is missing. After an extensive police search she is presumed dead, and her family must learn to live with a gaping hole in their lives. Her parents’ marriage is torn apart by grief, while her sister Ines swings between jealousy and guilt.

Then, four years later, Elly reappears. Her strange behaviour is initially put down to the trauma of what has happened to her, but soon her family is plagued by doubts. Elly’s grandmother is sure this is not her granddaughter and her sister tests her with childhood games and memories, but her mother cannot bear the thought of losing her child again, and her father just wants the family back together again.

Is this dark-eyed stranger really the same little girl who went missing? And if not, who is she?

Elly is a gripping tale of grief, longing, and doubt, which takes every parent’s greatest fear and lets it play out to an emotionally powerful, memorable climax. It is a literary novel with all the best qualities of a thriller, and a fascinating exploration of how well we can ever truly know one another or ourselves.



Maike Wetzel was born in 1974 and works as a writer, playwright and screenwriter in Berlin. She studied at the Munich Film School and in the UK. The manuscript of her first novel, Elly, won the Robert Gernhardt Prize and the Martha Saalfeld Prize. Maike’s short stories have been translated into numerous languages and received multiple awards. Her collection Long Days was published by Comma Press in 2008, translated by Lyn Marven.


Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles based writer Lisa Napoli is the author of three books: Radio Shangri-La, about the kingdom of Bhutan; Ray & Joan, about the great philanthropist, Joan Kroc, and Up All Night, about Ted Turner and the birth of 24-hour News.  

She’s currently at work on her fourth, about the founding mothers of NPR, to be released next year by Abrams.


The event will be streamed on Friday, July 24th at 6pm PST


Friday July 24, 2020, 6pm PST on Crowdcast:

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