Meet Toni Mirosevich, Author of Spell Heaven

San Mateo County Libraries welcomes Toni Mirosevich on Tuesday, August 23 at 6:00 PM. Toni will be in conversation with Belmont Poet Laureate Emerita Tanuja Wakefield, opens a new window about Spell Heaven, her new collection of linked short stories.

Register to receive your Zoom invitation and information on how to get a giveaway copy of Spell Heaven!

Spell Heaven is a collection of stories linked together, set around a coastal town. When a lesbian couple moves to to the town, they unexpectedly find a sense of belonging with a group of outsiders.

Stories include the tale of an undocumented boy’s drowning in the sea, an ex–FBI agent’s surveillance of a man who leaves chocolate bars at a tree in a weekly ritual, a mother on meth who teaches a lesson on mercy and Kite Man, who flies kites from a fishing pole and sells drugs on the side. His motto: "When the kites fly, you can buy."

The narrator of these stories was raised in a working-class Croatian American fishing family and immigrant community, and chooses an early career in labor-oriented jobs. Years later, she finds herself in an academic position in a white-collar world “where the clothes are clean but the politics are dirty.” She then considers her stereotypes about her neighbors and gradually begins to question her life path. Spell Heaven celebrates those who are looking for a human connection in an increasingly isolated world.

Praise for Toni Mirosevich

Toni Mirosevich was raised in a Croatian American fishing family in Everett, Washington. She is the author of a book of nonfiction stories, Pink Harvest, winner of the First Series Award for Creative Nonfiction and five books of poetry. A professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University for many years, she currently resides with her wife in Pacifica, California.

Deeply evocative, Toni Mirosevich’s Spell Heaven is a compelling collection whose narrator ponders memory, time, and lost worlds. With lyrical insight, she explores the mystery and the margins, the people and places, of the hardscrabble seaside town where she and her wife have made home. A gem. —Vanessa Hua (Forbidden City)

A seamlessly written book full of beautiful connections. —Kirkus Reviews

To read Spell Heaven is to be swept away to the sea, and fish and neighbors, and a small town on the California coast; to be swept away along through associations and stunning imagery; to be pulled in close by the intimate voice of a good friend who knows how to swear and spool shimmering reams of language. —Nina Schuyler (The Translator)