InPrint Studio Series: Karen Shepard and Cate Marvin

Don't I Know You? proves that murder victims include more than just the person who stopped breathing. Novelist Karen Shepard, the author of An Empire of Women and The Bad Boy's Wife, will read from Don't I Know You?, her most recent title, at today's InPrint Studio Series event. Set in New York City, Shepard's hometown, the book captures the pain and confusion of 12-year-old Steven, who comes home to find his mother, Gina, stabbed to death. Immediately following the murder, Steven is shuffled from one home to another, including a stint with Gina's boyfriend, who also happens to be the prime suspect in her death.

Based on the real-life events of one of Shepard's eighth-grade classmates, Don't I Know You? also examines the continued and far-reaching effects of the murder, including the additional-but-still-living victims. Steven caught a fleeting glimpse of his mother's killer, and he grows up playing a tormenting game of "What if?" with himself. Years later, as a young woman is preparing for her wedding, a stranger arrives and informs her that her fiancé has a secret life, one that might have included Gina in some unexpected ways. And finally, the woman whom Gina called as she lay dying comes to terms with the possibility that her emotionally disturbed son is the killer. Shepard's narrative jumps forward and backward in time, and is told from three separate points of view, making for a complicated story line - but then again, murder is never simple.

Poet Cate Marvin also reads during today's presentation. 7:30 p.m. Antidote Coffee, 729 Studewood. For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit www.inprinthouston.org. Free.
Thu., Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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Olivia Flores Alvarez