Author Event: Little Avalanches by Becky Ellis

Join Portland author Becky Ellis to discuss her debut memoir, Little Avalanches, an “unflinching memoir of survival … shares the disorienting experience of loving a parent she both idolized and feared, attempting to reconcile three sides of her father: a brave World War II hero and doctor, a terrifying bully who abused his children and wives, and a doting grandfather who yearns for forgiveness.” (Anna Bliss, author of Bonfire Night.)

A daughter’s quest for truth. A soldier’s fight for survival. Their shared search for understanding.

Little Avalanches is a gorgeously written memoir of breathtaking scope that propels readers from the beaches of California in the early ‘70s to the battlefields of World War II.

As a young girl, Becky is forced to hide from phantom Nazis, subjected to dental procedures without pain medication, and torn from her mother again and again. Growing up in the shadow of her father’s PTSD, she wants to know what is wrong but knows not to ask.

Her father won’t talk about being a Timberwolf, a unit of specially trained night fighters that went into combat first and experienced a 300 percent casualty rate. He returns home with thirteen medals, including a Silver Star, and becomes a doctor and well-respected member of the community, but is haunted by his past.

Seeing only his explosive and often dangerous personality, Becky distances herself from the man she wants to love. Yet on the eve of his ninetieth birthday, when Becky looks at the vulnerable man he’s become, something shifts, and she asks about the war. He breaks seventy years of silence, offering an unfiltered account of war without glory and revealing the extent of the trauma he’s endured. She spends the next several years interviewing, researching, and ultimately understanding the demons she inherited.

Because his story is incomplete without hers, and hers is inconceivable without his, Ellis offers both, as well as their year-long aching conversation marked by moments of redeeming grace. With compassionate, unflinching writing, Little Avalanches reminds us that we are profoundly shaped by the secrets we keep and forever changed by the stories we share.

“It was the "good" war, the one we were proud of, the one where we celebrated as heroes those who returned. We didn't ask, we never knew, what the war had done to them. Becky Ellis' finely crafted, quietly compelling memoir of life with her father, a World War II veteran, does ask. And she answers with pitch-perfect storytelling, recreating the world of her tempestuous childhood and illuminating, in vivid detail, the experiences that made her father the man he was. There is fear and love here, judgment and acceptance, innocence and wisdom. Little Avalanches is both a delicately wrought and powerfully told tale.” – LAUREN KESSLER, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF FREE: TWO YEARS, SIX LIVES, AND THE LONG JOURNEY HOME

Becky Ellis is a Timberwolf Pup. The daughter of a highly decorated World War II combat sergeant, she is a veteran of a war fought at home. She earned a BA in English Literature at UC Berkeley and has over twenty years of experience in the publishing industry. She teaches writing in Portland, Oregon, where she lives, plays, and has raised three daughters. Little Avalanches is her debut memoir.

Regalo Press, distributed by Simon & Schuster, unites philanthropy with the business of book publishing by making a donation to a charity of the author's choice on every deal. “Our guiding principle is that the only thing better than creating a great book is harnessing that greatness in the service of others." — Gretchen Young, founding editor Regalo Press




Event date: 
Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
900 NW Mt. Washington Drive #110
Bend, OR 97703
Little Avalanches: A Memoir By Becky Ellis Cover Image
ISBN: 9798888451663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Regalo Press - March 12th, 2024