Ida Hattemer-Higgins's The History of History bangs two fiction tropes together: It's about an American expatriate in Germany who wakes up after months of amnesia. She's lost a huge chunk of her life. As she tries to regain a sense of normalcy, she becomes obsessed with Germany's Nazi history. Her amnesia is a symbol of the way many Germans have tried to forget the not-so-recent past; making your protagonist the symbol of an entire country's cultural amnesia is the kind of ambitious premise that used to be more common in first novels, before big publishers started playing it corporate-safe. If you're interested in the premise, you should sample The History of History over on Google Books or drop by Hattemer-Higgins's reading tonight at Elliott Bay Book Company.
It's not the only reading going on tonight, obviously. For instance, Alice Hoffman reads up at Third Place Books. Hoffman has nearly written thirty books now, making her an old hand at this kind of thing. And if you want something more local and eclectic, Jack Straw Gallery is hosting a group reading to celebrate the newest issue of The Raven Chronicles. You can find much more about all tonight's events in our reading calendar.