Penguin Bookshop Writers Series: A Conversation with Kirthana Ramisetti & Jennifer Armstrong

An evening with
Kirthana Ramisetti & Jennifer Armstrong
celebrating the release of  
Dava Shastri’s Last Day

Monday, December 6, 2021, 7:00 PM ET on ZOOM



"In this thought-provoking and entertaining debut novel about of a multicultural family, a dying billionaire matriarch leaks news of her death early so she can examine her legacya decision that horrifies her children and inadvertently exposes secrets she has spent a lifetime keeping: "Full of music, magnetism, and familial obligation." -- Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here

The Penguin Bookshop Writers Series is excited to host authors Kirthana Ramisetti and Jennifer Armstrong to celebrate the release of Kirthana's debut novel, Dava Shastri's Last Day! Kirthana will share her experiences in writing the book, which has already been longlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Their conversation should last approximately one hour, and will conclude with a Q&A from the audience. This event will be held virtually via Zoom, and advance registration is required.  


As a former entertainment reporter for Newsday and the New York Daily NewsKirthana Ramisetti has written her fair share of stories about the lives (and deaths) of the rich and famous. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Emerson College, and her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic,, and elsewhere. Dava Shastri’s Last Day is her first novel, and she lives in New York City. Find out more at


A New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong has written seven pop culture history books, including SeinfeldiaWhen Women Invented Television; Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted; and Sex and the City and Us. Her work appears in many publications, including BBC Culture, The New York Times Book ReviewViceNew York magazine, and Billboard.


Dava Shastri, one of the world's wealthiest women, has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. A brain cancer diagnosis at the age of seventy, however, changes everything, and Dava decides to take her death—like all matters of her life—into her own hands.

Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries.

As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her "death" reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.

And now the whole world knows, including her children.

In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment—and make peace with those closest to her before it's too late. Compassionately written and chock-full of humor and heart, this powerful novel examines public versus private legacy, the complexities of love, and the never-ending joys—and frustrations—of family.



"A rich portrait of a family facing their powerful matriarch's death, Dava Shastri's Last Day is full of music, magnetism, and familial obligation. If Succession were about a multicultural family who actually loved each other, it might look like this."—Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here

"Kirthana Ramisetti has written a sweeping saga and also a poignant story about sacrifice and the exacting price of secrecy. Cinematic and intimate, Dava Shastri’s Last Day is an intricate story about family and love."—Devi S. Laskar, Author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues


"Dava Shastri's Last Day is a story about ambition and greatness, wealth and family, full of secrets, love, and music, and those eternal pop song complements: heartbreak and hope. It's a gripping, deeply satisfying story about one woman's tremendous life—and the infinitely complicated ways we create our own legacies."

Kate Racculia, Author of Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts and Bellweather Rhapsody

"Ramisetti beautifully weaves keen analysis of celebrity culture and a deep love of music into this perceptive, intergenerational story of resentment, trauma, love, and redemption. A page-turner with humor, heart, and lots of pop music."—Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of Seinfeldia

"A hilarious and heartfelt narrative about legacy, power and privacy, all through the journey of a lively character who has limited time to make things right with the people she loves most."—Time magazine

"Ramisetti draws nuanced characters who are introspective and entertaining. A solid debut that will appeal to readers who enjoy quirky family stories."—Kirkus

"A thought-provoking family drama that will appeal to fans of All Adults Here by Emma Straub."—Booklist


Dava Shastri's Last Day Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538703861
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 30th, 2021

Event address: 
Penguin Bookshop
417 Beaver Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
Event date: 
Monday, December 6, 2021 - 7:00pm