Ann Packer

Johanna Lawshea

Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction, Swim Back to Me, and Mendocino and Other Stories, and two bestselling novels, Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which received the Kate Chopin Literary Award, among many other honors. Her latest book, The Children’s Crusade: A Novel (Scribner), explores the secrets and desires, the remnant wounds and saving graces of one California family, over the course of five decades. The story begins in 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he has yet to create, Bill Blair buys the property on a whim, marries a mercurial woman and has four children. Thirty years later, the three oldest Blair children are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose all-too-familiar troubles force a reckoning with who they are, separately and together, and set off a struggle over the family’s future.