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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series elevates the voices of local artists while bringing world-renowned cultural icons to Seattle audiences. The series celebrates music, photography, sculpture, philosophy, heritage, and traditions around the world that enrich our lives.

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Nov 1, 2022

From the authors of 2020’s Tiny Imperfections comes a new novel that takes a humorous but candid look at issues like race, religion, parenting, and love through the lens of female friendship.

Never Meant to Meet You features protagonist Marjette Lewis, a self-proclaimed “fixer” and kindergarten teacher facing the challenges of raising a son on the verge of manhood, entering her first year without her best friend (the campus “Black-up”) at the private school, and dealing with an ex-husband who is the source of chronic vexation. In contrast to Marjette, her white, Jewish neighbor Noa Abrams appears perfect on the outside, and Marjette is too focused on her own matters to butt in to her neighbor’s business affairs this time.

But when tragedy strikes Noa’s family and an unexpected students enters Marjette’s classroom, she is forced to face both her neighbor and her own disappointment — as well as the possibility of new love. Through laughter, tears, and expanding our pre-conceived notions of family and kinship, Marjette and Noa find common ground, common goals, and a strength they didn’t know they had.

Alli Frank and Asha Youmans are coauthors of Tiny Imperfections (Random House, 2020), and Alli is a contributing essayist in the anthology Moms Don’t Have Time to: A Quarantine Anthology. Alli has worked in education for more than twenty years, from boisterous public high schools to small, progressive private academies. A graduate of Cornell and Stanford Universities, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. Alli became a Tall Poppy Writer in 2022.

Asha Youmans spent two decades teaching elementary school students. A graduate of University of California, Berkeley, Asha lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and has two grown sons. Asha is a fabulous home cook who loves storytelling and connecting with others by making them smile. In 2022, Asha joined with Alli as a Tall Poppy Writer.

Learn more about Alli Frank and Asha Youmans at

Tara Conklin is a writer and former lawyer whose first novel, The House Girl,  was a New York Times bestseller, #1 IndieNext pick, Target book club pick, and has been translated into eight languages. Her second novel, The Last Romantics (2019) was an instant New York Times bestseller and major book club pick. Her latest novel Community Board will be released March 28, 2023.