JANIE KIM at Books Inc. Palo Alto

Author image of Janie Kim and cover photo of her book We Carry the Sea in Our Hands

Join local author Janie Kim at Books Inc. Palo Alto for the launch party of her debut novel We Carry the Sea in Our Hands!

Janie will be in conversation with fellow author Kemi Ashing-Giwa.

Preorder a copy of We Carry the Sea in Our Hands now to receive an exclusive bookmark and print of the sketch by the author!

Plus, Janie will be signing and personalizing all preorder copies, so include the preferred name in the comment section of your order.

Told with poetic prose and an imaginative voice, this “beautifully composed [and] original” (Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times bestselling author) debut novel explores family, trauma, and belonging through one woman’s journey to reconnect with her roots.

Abby Rodier was a “drop-box baby,” a Korean orphan whose mother could not take care of her and left her as an infant. Abby’s tumultuous experience in the American foster care system has led her to live a solitary and guarded life, closed off to almost everyone except her best friend Iseul, whose parents took Abby into their home as a child.

Abby’s work studying the origins of life in sea slugs and bacteria leads her to wonder about her birth parents and question her place in this world. It's not long before Abby stumbles upon a biological discovery that will change the course of her life. Meanwhile, Iseul’s devotion to their ill brother leads to an entanglement between her work as an investigative journalist and the murky world of black-market medicine. 

After a tragic event, Abby’s life is thrown into a tailspin. With the rug pulled from under her feet, she spirals into a disorientation of grief, apparitions, and compulsions. With the help of those around her, Abby must embark on a journey to understand her true roots and make peace with her present. 

From an exciting new voice in literary fiction, We Carry the Sea in Our Hands is a complex and layered ode to found family, perfect for fans of The Last Story of Mina Lee and Goodbye, Vitamin.


We Carry the Sea in Our Hands is a brilliant accomplishment, beautifully composed, stylistically inventive, conceptually imaginative and original. . . . it is a complex, layered text in which present action is braided together with a poignant backstory of quarrelsome adoptive parents, loving surrogate parents, and an intense friendship.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times bestselling author of Blonde

“In these pages, Janie Kim has set off a dazzling chemical reaction. Lyrical, perceptive, and sparking with intelligence, We Carry the Sea in Our Hands is a wholly original investigation into the origins of the self. A marvelous, moving debut.”
—Kirstin Valdez Quade, award-winning author of Night at the Fiestas and The Five Wounds

“Janie Kim’s We Carry the Sea in our Hands is a brilliant, poetic dance between the worlds of art and science that explores a young woman’s coming of age/coming to consciousness. In this deftly articulate first novel, Kim explores intimate and essential questions about family, identity, biological imperative, and the mythology of the self. A braided narrative that brings together science, nature, and grief, We Carry the Sea in Our Hands is a haunting celebration of the preciousness of life and our relationships to both what is known and what remains mysterious within us and within the world around us.”
—A. M. Homes, author of The Unfolding


Janie Kim was born and raised in San Diego, California. She studied molecular biology at Princeton University, went on a Fulbright research grant to Denmark, and is now a biology PhD student at Stanford University. She studies fun-sized sea creatures.

Kemi Ashing-Giwa is the USA Today bestselling, Compton Crook Award-winning author of The Splinter in the Sky, the forthcoming novella This World Is Not Yours, and the forthcoming novel The King Must Die. She studied organismic & evolutionary biology and astrophysics at Harvard, and is now pursuing a PhD in the Earth & Planetary Sciences department at Stanford. Her short fiction has appeared or will appear in Reactor (formerly Tor.com), Anathema: Spec from the MarginsThe Sunday Morning TransportClarkesworld Magazine, Kaleidotrope, and Luna Station Quarterly. Her work has been featured on the Locus Recommended Reading List, and has been reprinted in The Year’s Top Tales of Space and Time and Some of the Best from Tor.com: 15th Anniversary Edition.

Event date: 
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc. Palo Alto
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Pre-Order Now Badge
We Carry the Sea in Our Hands: A Novel By Janie Kim Cover Image
ISBN: 9781639107537
Availability: Coming Soon - AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER
Published: Alcove Press - July 9th, 2024