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Hannah Lillith Assadi on 'The Stars Are Not Yet Bells'

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Jen Steele
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courtesy Penguin Random House
Hannah Lillith Assadi is the author of "The Stars Are Not Yet Bells"

In Hannah Lillith Assadi’s novel, The Stars Are Not Yet Bells, readers learn the story of Elle Cumberland's marriage to Simon Ranier, and their consequent move to an island off the coast of Georgia. Readers learn of family secrets—both Elle’s and Simon’s. And readers discover through Elle’s memories parts of her 50 years on the island. And yet readers must not be blamed if any skepticism arises during the reading journey. You see, the novel’s narrator is Elle Ranier, and Elle suffers from dementia. I recently spoke with Hannah Lillith Assadi about The Stars Are Not Yet Bells and the experience of assuming the lens of one whose memory is skewed. Here’s our conversation.

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The Stars Are Not Yet Bells by Hannah Lillith Assadi was published by Riverhead Books.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.