Thursday, February 8th 7:00pm
“Quirky and charming, wise and unpredictable.”
—Khaled Hosseini, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner
“A dynamic entry into YA literature.”
—Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me
“a heartfelt tour of a city through the bright eyes of a hopeful heart.”
—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland
“A big-hearted gem of a debut from an exciting new voice.”
—Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now
Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. Writing the Great American Novel? Three chapters. His summer internship? One week. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can't commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion. With college applications looming, Scott's parents pressure him to get serious about a career path like engineering or medicine. Desperate for help, he sneaks off to Washington, DC, to seek guidance from a famous professor who specializes in grit, the psychology of success.
He never expects an adventure to unfold out of what was supposed to be a one-day visit. But that's what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he's in for the ride of his life. Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try--all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.
Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he's not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel.
Ema O'Connor is a Politics Reporter for BuzzFeed News in DC, where she focuses on issues of abortion and reproductive policy. She previously worked for at The Guardian's Books vertical in the UK, and attended Columbia University with Arvin Ahmadi. She was born and raised in NYC and only just managed to successfully flee her hometown.
Azar Nafisi is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a long-running #1 New York Timesbestseller published in thirty-two languages, and Things I’ve Been Silent About, also a New York Times bestseller. A fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, she has taught at Oxford University and several universities in Tehran.