DANZY SENNA in conversation with CHRIS L. TERRY
MAY 17, 2018 at 7pm
Jones Coffee Roasters, 693 South Raymond Ave, Pasadena CA
Danzy Senna is the author of three novels, a memoir and a short-story collection along with numerous essays centering on the issues of identity, motherhood, gender and race. Her first book, Caucasia, has been translated into ten languages, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, and was named one of the LA Times Best Books of the Year in 1998. Her most recent novel, New People, has been named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, Vogue, Time Magazine, NPR and The Root. Book Page called New People, “ . . . blazing, unstoppable . . . a fast, darkly funny read.” Newsday said, “. . . its compound of caustic observations and shrewd characterizations could only have emerged from a writer as finely tuned to her social milieu as [Jane] Austen was to hers.” Ms Senna was born and raised in Boston. She earned a BS from Stanford University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine. Ms Senna was the recipient of the 2016 Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She presently lives in South Pasadena and is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern California.
Chris L. Terry is the son of an African-American father and an Irish-American mother and he describes Senna’s book, Caucasia, as “a formative read” for him as a young man. He was born in Boston, raised in Richmond, Virginia and spent his youth touring the US and Europe as a singer for various punk rock bands. He has a BA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Creative Writing MFA from Columbia College, Chicago. In the past, he has worked in book publishing and taught creative writing to juvenile inmates. His debut novel, Zero Fade, was on the American Library Association’s Best of 2013 list. His second novel, Magical Negroes (to be published in 2019), is a supernatural satire about a mixed-race punk rock musician who is trying to win his Black Card — his credibility as a black person. A resident of LA since 2013, he is currently a PEN Center USA Artist in Residence.
What is the Open Book Series?
Building on the successful Pasadena Festival of Woman Authors event which has been presented annually since 2009, the vision for the new series is to provide opportunities for the community to enjoy authors of all kinds – both established and emerging, national and local, men and women, writers of fiction and non-fiction – in settings that complement the author’s work or background and allow for engagement with the attendees.
Percival Everett in conversation with David Ulin
January 24, 2018
Percival Everett has been called “one of our culture’s preeminent novelists, a nonpareil ironist-satirist.” (LA Times). He is the author of nearly 30 books, in multiple genres, including Erasure, I’m Not Sidney Portier, and his latest novel, So Much Blue. The Boston Globe raved about So Much Blue, saying, “Three stories, scattered across time . . . taken together they add up to a masterpiece.” NPR called So Much Blue, “a generous, thrilling book by a man who might well be America’s most under-recognized literary master.” Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California, and the recipient of the Academy Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Believer Book Award, and the 2006 PEN USA Center Award for Fiction.
David L. Ulin is the award-winning author, most recently, of the novel, “Ear to the Ground.” A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, one of his eight previous books is “Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles,” that was shortlisted for the PEN/diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. He is the previous book critic and book editor for The Los Angeles Times.
NOVEMBER 7, 2017
Amor Towles burst onto the literary scene with his bestseller, The Rules of Civility. He returns with an equally enthralling novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, about a Russian aristocrat ordered to spend the rest of his life inside the Metropol, a grand hotel across from the Kremlin. Brimming with humor and charm, A Gentleman in Moscow paints an indelible portrait of a man confined by time and space who somehow manages to enter a much larger world of emotional discovery. “Marvelous,” – The Chicago Tribune. “How delightful that in an era as crude as ours, this finely composed novel stretches out with an old-World elegance.” – The Washington Post. “Buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, twists of fate and silly antics.” – The Wall Street Journal.