Lucy Ferriss reads for Writing Program March 6

Author of The Lost Daughter returns to St. Louis

The Lost Daughter, the sixth and most recent novel by St. Louis native Lucy Ferriss, opens with a harrowing prologue. Teenagers Brooke and Alex, high school sweethearts, panicked by an accidental pregnancy, rent a hotel room to deliver their stillborn child, leaving its body in a dumpster.

Lucy Ferriss will read from her work March 6.

Fifteen years later, Brooke is happily married, proud mother to a young daughter. But when Alex — recently divorced and mourning the death of his son — resurfaces, it triggers a series of revelations that threaten to undo Brooke’s carefully constructed life.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, Ferris — a writer-in-residence at Trinity College in Hartford — will read from her work for The Writing Program in Arts & Sciences’ spring Reading Series.

The talk is free and open to the public and takes place in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall, at the northwest corner of Brookings Quadrangle. A reception and book signing will immediately follow.

For more information, call (314) 935-7130.

The Lost Daughter began with headlines,” Ferriss writes on her website. “Police had been finding the tiny remains of unwanted babies in dumpsters and restrooms. This wasn’t news. What was news was that the parents turned out to be middle-class white teenagers. How could this have happened? the reporters wanted to know.

“Well, I thought, I know exactly how it happened. And so, more than a decade ago, I set out to write a depressing story. But along the way, my teenaged characters, never caught, grew up. They kept their guilt buried inside them, carrying it as we all carry the unknown sins of our past, letting those mistakes weigh us down.

“Then, surprisingly, I discovered this: the baby lived. And The Lost Daughter was born.”

Ferriss is the author of nine books, including the novels Against Gravity (1996), The Misconceiver (1997) and Nerves of the Heart (2002), as well as the collection Leaving the Neighborhood and Other Stories (2001). Her memoir, Unveiling the Prophet: The Misadventures of a Reluctant Debutante, was named one of the best books of 2005 by the Riverfront Times.

Current projects include a historical novel, The Woman Who Bought the Sky, and a new novel, tentatively titled Honor.