Unable to afford rent, Mia—a community college student—lives out of her car, cleaning houses of the well-to-do in the LA area to meet her shoestring budget. Then Covid hits and everything changes.

For people living in houses and apartments, with stay-at-home jobs, the pandemic was inconvenient. For Mia and her fellow housekeeper friends—all living in their cars—the pandemic destroys the source of their frugal income.

Fortunately, gutsy, funny Mia is a determined survivor. After weeks of cutting her limited spending even further, missing meals along the way, her wealthy employers become desperate for her services again. This time, she’s determined not to let them take advantage of her as they have in the past. Her newfound confidence gives her new hope, until she discovers a dead body in a room she was assigned to clean. Sally Rooney meets Elizabeth Strout in this gripping page turner debut novel.

Under the Neon Sun: A Novel
by Kate Gale
978-1-953103-49-9 | Trade Paper | Three Rooms Press
$16.00 | 240 pages | 5.5” x 8.25” | TRP-113
Pub date: 4/23/24

Past Praise for the writing of Kate Gale

“Humble, hopeful, and defi antly human.” —San Diego Tribune

“When I open a new book by Kate Gale I know right away that there will be bravery. . . . There will be beautiful, skillful, memorable language.”  —Ilya Kaminsky, author, Dancing in Odessa and Deaf Republic: Poems

“Refining, compressing, and expanding one’s writing while in ceaseless movement is almost unimaginable. Ms. Gale deftly succeeds.”  —Concho River Review

About the Author

Kate Gale is the co-founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press, which has been publishing for thirty years in Los Angeles. She is also the author of seven books of poetry including The Goldilocks Zone and The Loneliest Girl, as well as several librettos including Rio de Sangre with Don Davis—who wrote the music to the Matrix movies. Rio de Sangre premiered at the Florentine opera. Her current opera projects are Che Guevara and Esther. Kate grew up in an intentional community. Since leaving, she has put herself through school, ultimately receiving a Ph.D. in English Literature from Claremont Graduate University. She had no one after she left the Farm to depend on, and spent years writing “No one,” as her emergency contact. When she briefly met her father, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he asked where she was living. She said, “my car,” and he asked what kind of car. From those beginnings, she has built a press in Los Angeles, raised a family, and lived a life as a writer and publisher on the West Coast. Since 1989, she has taught writing at universities in Los Angeles every semester. She has also taught publishing at Oxford, Columbia University, Harvard University, and USC, and was the President of Pen USA from 2005–2006. Currently, Kate teaches publishing and poetry at Chapman University and lives in Los Angeles.


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