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Dorothy Allison, Author of Bastard Out of Carolina
If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Allison read from her novel, you are in for a spinetingling experience, The publication of Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina was a landmark event when it was first published more than 20 years ago. The novel’s profound portrait of family dynamics in the rural south won the author a National Book Award nomination and launched her into the literary spotlight. The novel has inspired an award-winning film and has been banned from libraries and classrooms, championed by fans, and defended by critics. The anniversary edition features a new afterword by the author. Allison is also the author of two other novels: Two or Three Things I Know for Sure and Cavedweller. A short documentary was made of her life, Two or Three Things but Nothing for Sure.
Helene Wecker, Author of The Golem and the Jinni
Discovering amazing authors is part of the Book Festival and the joy of reading. Come discover what the critics saw. The Golem and the Jinni is a marvelous and absorbing debut novel about two supernatural creatures in turn-of-the-century immigrant New York. The novel weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale reminiscent of The Night Circus.
Anthony Marra, Author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a majestic work of sweeping breadth and profound compassion. In war-stricken Eastern Europe, two doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child. Marra is an author to watch. He’s won a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, The Atlantic’s Student Writing Contest, and the Narrative Prize. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Women in Suspense
From FBI Special Agents to college professors to art forgery experts, we’ll explore the many and varied female characters created by three award winning mystery authors and what they say about challenges facing women today.
Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchcraft Mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series. As Hailey Lind, she also writes the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery Series.
Gigi Pandian’s debut novel, Artifact, was named a “Best of 2012″ Debut Mystery by Suspense Magazine and resulted in her winning the prestigious William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant. Artifact is the first in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. The second book in the series, Pirate Vishnu, will be published in February 2014.
Robin Burcell has worked in law enforcement as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. She is the two-time Anthony Award-winning author of the Kate Gillespie homicide inspector series and is currently at work on a new series featuring an FBI forensic artist, Sydney Fitzpatrick. Her latest books in the series are The Dark Hour and The Black List, both released to critical acclaim in 2012.
Sue Olsen McCullough just finished writing a suspense novel about a mother whose 13-year-old daughter runs away from home leaving a trail based on The Runaway Bunny. The novel is set in Stockholm, Sweden where McCullough recently lived before returning to Santa Rosa, where she now resides with her husband and two teenaged daughters.
What Makes a Good Book Club Pick?
So many books to choose from! Plus everyone’s tastes vary. How do you make that choice? Come hear how to make an excellent selection for all. Even if you aren’t in a book club, you’ll discover how to find that next great book for your own reading pleasure.
Ron Shoop and Jenn Ramage have more than 50 years of book experience between them. Excellent readers with first-hand knowledge of what people like and why, these two Random House representatives will divulge their best advice for finding the right book. They’ll even share some of their own reading lists.
The Immigrant Experience
Panelists discuss how being a visitor in a foreign land shapes their characters.
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga is the author of the novels, “Midori by Moonlight” and “Love in Translation” (both published by St. Martin’s Press), the award-winning “No Kidding,” and the nonfiction book, “Marriage in Translation: Foreign Wife, Japanese Husband.” Her essays and short stories have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. Wendy holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco and teaches for Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio Novel Certificate Program.
Aimee Phan grew up in Orange County, California, and now teaches in the MFA Writing Program and Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts. Her first book, We Should Never Meet, was named a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction and a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Arts Colony and Hedgebrook. Her novel, The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, is available in paperback.
Emilio Gonzalez, a third generation Cuban-American, wrote his first poem at age five and has been writing poetry and fiction ever since. His stories and poems have appeared in various publications, in print and on-line. In 1995 he produced a four-part television series for PBS, Qigong for Health. Today, he lives in Santa Rosa, California, where he teaches Tai Chi and Qigong, paints watercolors, and writes.
Sonoma County’s Best Read
Come hear from some of Sonoma County’s best read as they share their favorite books of the year. Great for readers looking for something new and exciting to read. Book lists of the recommended titles will be available at the presentation.
Gilbert Mansergh reads over 100 books each year for his Word By Word: Conversations With Writers show on KRCB-FM and is also the author of over 60 nonfiction books.
Susan Swartz is a journalist and author of Juicy Tomatoes and has been in a book club forever.
David Dodd is the collection development librarian at the Sonoma County Library and co-author of The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
Sheryl Cotleur is the book buyer for Copperfield’s Books, and, as such (and for pleasure), reads a book as often as every two days.
Biting Off Chunks of Local History
A panel of writers who have focused on local history in the “little pieces” so important to the understanding of the past.
Marty Griffin (Dr. L. Martin Griffin MD) is a physician, a former director of Sonoma Developmental Center, a former owner of Hop Kiln Winery, a naturalist of note and, most important for the panel, the author of Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast, the definitive history of the successful efforts to protect our treasured shorelines from development. As a leader of many of those efforts, he is honored by the North Coast environmental community.
Gabe Meline is a third-generation Santa Rosa native who began writing about local history in his self-published ‘zine, Positively 4th Street, while still in his teens. Since, he has researched and written on a
variety of local history subjects In 2006, with his band Santiago, he wrote and recorded an album entirely about Santa Rosa called Rosenberg’s After Dark. He is currently the editor of the North Bay Bohemian.
Arthur Dawson has collected oral histories, developed archives, and contributed field and archival research to local and regional restoration efforts. His books include The Stories Behind Sonoma Valley Place Names and On Foot in Sonoma (with Rebecca Lawton), as well as Creek Wisdom: an ecological history of Sonoma Valley. Arthur’s place name stories appear twice monthly in The Press Democrat.
Gaye LeBaron wrote her first column for The Press Democrat in 1959 and was the daily columnist until her retirement in 2001. She continues to contribute a “historical perspective” column twice monthly. The wrote, with three other researchers, a two-volume history — “Santa Rosa, a 19th Century Town,” and “Santa Rosa a 20th Century Town.” She lectured on local history at SRJC for 35 years and has taught for SSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Morning Food Romp
Join us for a morning food romp with local authors Michele Anna Jordan and Marcy Smothers. Jordan will talk about her latest book: Vinaigrettes & Other Dressings and preview upcoming projects and Marcy will follow with her book Snacks. You’ll get a chance to wake up your palate at these tasty talks!
Michele Anna Jordan writes three popular columns about food and wine for The Press Democrat, contributes to Savor Wine County magazine and The Wine Enthusiast and hosts two radio shows. A chef herself, she has written nearly 20 books to date. Her latest is called Vinaigrettes & Other Dressings: 60 Sensational recipes to Liven Up Greens, Grains, Slaws and Every Kind of Salad.
Marcy Smothers – One of the highlights of Marcie Smothers culinary career was serving as the Mayo Queen for Michele Anna Jordan when she built the world’s largest BLT. A popular broadcaster who has worked on both KSRO and KGO, Smothers hosted The Food Guy and Marcy Show with Guy Fieri before publishing her first book SNACKS: Adventures in Food, Aisle by Aisle.