Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series will celebrate its one year anniversary January 13! With Michael Alenyikov, Tamim Ansary, Catherine Brady, Stephen Elliott, Alice LaPlante, Janet Thornburg, and YOU! The theme is “More” — in which we will get a little of that from these “greatest hits” readers 0f 2010. Then we’ll close out the night with an open mic.
Here’s how the open mic will work: Come sign up at the door that evening. Five minute slots will be available on a first come-first served basis. Very important: reading slots are for 5 minutes only. A strict 5 minutes! There will be a bouncer. Please do not sign up if you aren’t able to keep it to 5 minutes or under. Note: as a rough idea 250 words (1 double-spaced page) = 2 minutes.
WTAW will take place, as always, at Studio 333, Sausalito — 333 Caledonia Street at 7 PM. $5 at the door. Bring cash (and checks) for beverages and readers’ books. Authors will be happy to sign them for you.
Michael Alenyikov’s short stories have appeared in Canada’s Descant, The Georgia Review, the James White Review, New York Stories, and Modern Words. They have been anthologized in Best Gay Stories, 2008 and Tartts Four: Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers. His essays have appeared in the Gay & Lesbian Review. He was a MacDowell Fellow and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s worked as a bookstore clerk, clinical psychologist, cab driver, and interactive media writer. His childhood encompassed the Bronx, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Queens. Ivan and Misha is his first book.
Tamim Ansary wrote his own memoir, West of Kabul, East of New York,
someone else’s memoir, The Other Side of the Sky, and the world’s memoir, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes. Now, he’s working on Road Trips, another memoir about his experiences as an Afghan American wandering in a shell-shocked daze through the post-sixties American counterculture. He guesses his epitaph will be: he wrote memoir.
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes won the Northern California Book Award for Best General Nonfiction of 2009, and has been or is being translated into nine languages including Russian, Dutch, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian. West of Kabul, East of New York was selected as San Francisco’s One City One Book pick for 2008. It has also been selected as common freshman reading by colleges and universities ranging from Carleton, Tulane and Temple to College of Alameda and Houston Community College.
Catherine Brady is the author of three story collections, including Curled in the Bed of Love, winner of the 2002 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Mechanics of Falling, winner of the Northern California Book Award in Fiction. Her stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories 2004. She is also the author of a biography of Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres, and the recently published Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction, which considers craft how-to in relation to flexible principles. She has just finished her first novel.
Diaries which has been described as “genius” by both the San Francisco Chronicle and Vanity Fair. The Adderall Diaries was the best book of the year in Time Out New York, a best of 2009 in Kirkus Reviews, and one of 50 notable books in the San Francisco Chronicle. His novel, Happy Baby, was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lion Award as well as a best book of the year in Salon.com, Newsday, Chicago New City, the Journal News, and the Village Voice. Elliott’s writing has been featured in Esquire, The New York Times, The Believer, GQ, Best American Non-Required Reading 2005 and 2007, Best American Erotica, and Best Sex Writing 2006. He is the editor of The Rumpus.
Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer. She also teaches in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. Her fiction has been widely published in Epoch, Southwestern Review, and other literary journals. She is the author of five books, including the LA Times bestseller Method and Madness: The Making of a Story (W.W. Norton 2009). Her latest book, the novel Turn of Mind, will be published by Grove Atlantic in 2011. She lives with her family in Palo Alto, California.
Janet Thornburg’s short stories have appeared in Carve Magazine, The Distillery, In
The Family, Lumina, The MacGuffin, Phantasmagoria, and Phoebe. Rhubarb Pie, a collection of her short stories, was published by Thunderegg Press in 2005. In addition to writing fiction, she has written and performed seven solo shows, and her poetry has appeared in Womanthology, A Collection of Colorado Women Poets and Most of the Holes are Occupied: A Santa Fe Anthology. She lives with her two children in San Francisco, where she teaches at City College.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following authors reading selections from their work to the tune of “Heat” — that’s the theme, June 10, 2010, 7 PM. Studio 333, at 333 Caledonia St., Sausalito. $5.
Cara Black is the author of nine novels in the bestselling Aimée Leduc series, all of which are available in paperback from Soho Crime. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.
Catherine Brady is the author of three story collections, including Curled in the Bed of Love, winner of the Flannery O’ Connor Award for Short Fiction, and most recently The Mechanics of Falling, winner of the Northern California Book Award for Fiction. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories 2004. Her book on craft, Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction, is forthcoming in October 2010. She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
Iranian-American author Elizabeth Eslami is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Warren Wilson MFA
Program for Writers. She has published work in over a dozen journals, including G.W. Review, Minnesota Review, Crab Orchard Review, Matador Travel, and The Millions. She’s currently a regular contributor at The Nervous Breakdown. Her first novel, Bone Worship (Pegasus), about the complex relationship between an Iranian father and his American daughter, has been called “wildly original” by Joan Silber and “a treasure” by David Haynes, and Janet Peery calls Eslami a writer of “uncommon wit and depth.” She lives in Eugene, OR.
Joe Quirk is a bestselling novelist and science writer, and a popular public speaker. His debut novel, The Ultimate Rush, was a People Magazine Page-Turner Of The Week. His new novel, Exult, has garnered praise from Khaled Hosseini, and is about hang gliders who live out the Icarus myth. His humorous science book It’s Not You. It’s Biology: The Science of Love, Sex, and Relationships has been translated into 17 languages and is a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. He recently published a science/history book, Call to the Rescue: The Story of the Marine Mammal Center, about how human activity impacts the lives of Bay Area sea lions and seals. Joe Quirk is a humor columnist at H+ Magazine, a publication dedicated to improving the human condition through biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. His PIXAR-illustrated Powerpoint presentation, Sperm-spreaders vs. Egg-protectors, shows college students how to use biology in their dating lives. He also ghostwrites books under secret names. He is committed to teaching the craft of creative writing to the next generation of storytellers.
Prartho Sereno is author of a book of memoir-essays, Everyday Miracles: An A to Z Guide to the Simple Wonders of Life (Kensington, 1998) and author/illustrator of the prizewinning gift book Causing a Stir: The Secret Lives and Loves of Kitchen Utensils. Her other publications include Garden Sutra, a poetry chapbook, and Call from Paris, an award-winning collection of poems (2007 Word Works Washington Prize). Prartho received a Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in 2003 and a Radio Disney Super Teacher Award in 2005 for her work as a California Poet in the Schools. She is heading to Syracuse University as a teaching fellow in their 3-year MFA program in Poetry this July.
Todd Zuniga is the founding editor of Opium Magazine. He is also the co-creator and host of Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, which is reading series that occurs monthly in New York City, San Francisco, London, and other locales. He is also a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer for his short fiction and an award-winning journalist (Best Feature Writing awarded by Ziff-Davis Media), the host and creator of 1UP.com’s Sports Anomaly podcast, and the cartoonist behind EatPizzaInTheShower.com, as well as a contributor to The Nervous Breakdown.