Fall Books Preview Part Two!

Our second preview comes from Caitlin Baker, adult book buyer at University Book Store. Catilin, a seasoned bookseller who tweets about books at @Cait_onthe_Luce, highlights some titles that might have evaded the national press.

eveoutofruins Eve Out of Her Ruins, by Ananda Devi and translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
September 2016 Deep Vellum Publishing 

Narrated by four teens living in the Troumaron neighborhood on the tiny resort island of Mauritius, Eve Out of Her Ruins captures the harsh reality of life in a part of the island tourists never see. Devi’s powerful novel has stuck with me weeks after finishing and  Zuckerman’s lively translation captures the intensity of the daily struggle for life the teens face.

 

The Revolutionaries Try Again, by Mauro Javier Cardenas September 2016 Coffee House Press

revolutionaries-try-againIn this debut novel, three childhood friends reunite after a decade apart to run against the corrupt President El Loco. Cardenas’ playful language and wit make this one of the best books of the year.

 

 

 

subsidiary The Subsidiary, by Matias Celedon August 30, 2016 Melville House

Designed by the author using a set of rubber stamps he purchased at the Santiago library, The Subsidiary is set in an office building in which the employees are trapped during a power outage. Through mounting terror, and with only a few words per page, this slim book will haunt you long after you have finished reading it.

 

 

A Greater Music, by Bae Suah and translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith
October 2016 Open Letter  

greater_music-front_frame_large Early in A Greater Music the narrator slips into an icy river outside Berlin where she is house sitting for an ex-boyfriend. As the reader we slip into her memories in this gorgeously written book.

 

 

 

Thanks to Caitlin and University Book Store for these picks! And stay tuned for more recommendations from other booksellers in our community!

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Fall Books Preview!

UW+bookstore1Summer is winding down, and while we may be a little sad that the days are getting shorter, our bookish hearts are eagerly anticipating the turning of the season. Fall is the time when publishers put out their “big” books. And to help whet your appetite for what’s coming out, we talked with our friends at University Book Store about the books that they are most looking forward to this fall season. The first preview comes from Rene’ Kirkpatrick. Rene’ is a long-time northwest bookseller, having worked at All For Kids, Third Place Books and Eagle Harbor Book Company, before becoming the Children’s Book Buyer at University Book Store.

 

Looking for Betty MacDonald, by Paula Becker. September, 2016. University of Washington Press.

BECLOO
Paula Becker (staff historian at HistoryLink and author of two books of Seattle/Northwest history) has written what will be the definitive biography of Betty MacDonald. Paula has been given full access to the MacDonald archives including some things never seen by any other researcher. The book will be filled with local history, maybe a little gossip, and, knowing how much Paula loved Betty M., a warm look at an amazing woman and her family. University of Washington Press is reissuing the other editions of Betty’s other books at the same time.

 

Leave Me, by Gayle Forman. September 13, 2016. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Gayle-Forman-Leave-Me

Haven’t we always wondered what we could do or be if we could start our lives over? Like The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett and Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg, Leave Me is about a woman who decides to leave everything she knows and thinks she loves. Maribeth Klein is so busy and overwhelmed by family and work she doesn’t realize she has had a heart attack until she ends up in the hospital. While she is recovering from the surgery, already besieged with family and work, feeling as if her illness is an imposition on everyone, she packs a bag and leaves. I know I have had moments where my exit is upcoming and it would be easy to just drive on. Gayle Forman is also the author of If I Stay, a young adult novel about deciding to stay or go.

635894096080491941-Kids-of-Appetite-coverThe Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold. September 20, 2016. Viking.

This is the next book by the author of Mosquitoland, one of my all-time favorite young adult road trip novels. The Kids of Appetite is filled with unforgettable and relatable characters and the story is told in alternating voices: Vic, a boy with Moebius syndrome (a neurological disorder causing facial paralysis), and Mad, a homeless girl making a family of her own. Vic needs to scatter his dad’s ashes and he and Mad’s crew of misfit kids go on a journey together to get beyond their various incarnations of grief and loss. This will be a good chance to revisit S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders! I love books that include other books. For ages 14 and up.

News of the World, Paulette Giles. October 4, 2016. Morrow. y450-293

There’s something utterly compelling about reading stories about very different people undertaking a road trip together. In News of the World, the road-trippers are in a wagon with one broken wheel surrounded by unforgiving landscape and the most brutal of outlaws. Our heroes, a 70-year old newsreader in post-Civil War Texas, and his companion, a 10-year old girl recently returned by the Kiowa four years after being kidnapped, are on a 400-mile trip to take her back home. The book itself is a beautiful package,  and it is poignant, bighearted, and, at times spit-takingly funny.

 

Thanks to Rene’ and University Book Store for their recommendations! Stay tuned for more Fall Book Previews in the next few weeks!

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My Imagination’s Blank Spot Takes a Trip to New Zealand

by Elissa Washuta

People have been asking me whether I’m excited to visit New Zealand, and the answer is yes. People want to know what I’m going to do there. My answer is brief: I’m going to lead a workshop for Ngāi Tahu writers, present a PechaKucha, and participate in an Indigenous writers panel. Yes, but—New Zealand. I know.

I’ve been out of the country fewer than five times, I think, for trips to Canada. I’ve thought I should travel more after I made an OKCupid profile and quickly began to sense, from the Machu Picchu photos and lists of passport stamps collected, that my lack of worldiness should be a secret. I grew up in New Jersey, sort of in the woods, a few miles away from a sod farming hotbed, and in those lakes and trees and people, I had a world.

I have been asked to write about my anticipation for this visit, but I’ve procrastinated, because when I think about my expectations and excitement for this visit, I visualize no landscapes, no scenes. I looked up Christchurch online, but was overwhelmed by the idea of planning for the trip, so I have only a single image of a street scene in my head from a tourism website that I didn’t explore. My life is spent imagining every possible thing that could happen to me, a process that makes up the gnarled nest of fear and hope in which I live, but this trip to New Zealand is one thing that’s going to happen to me that I can’t picture.

I see my own country through the trips I make as a working writer.  I spend time teaching in Santa Fe every year. I travel around the country for readings. This is how I spend my summer vacation: spread throughout the year, in patches and pieces, working. This is my comfort zone. I don’t think I could take a vacation without a tutorial.

With my trip just weeks away, I went back to the Christchurch tourism website. Reading about tours, museums, and parks, I realized that I draw only mental blanks when I think of places. When I think of New Zealand, I think of people.

In 2013, I told Ronnie I wanted to visit Aotearoa—and, really, it was the first place outside North America I’d given serious thought to visiting. This desire to travel, for the first time, was infused with purpose and thoughts of making relationships.

When I wrote a letter of support for Seattle’s bid to be a UNESCO City of Literature, I thought of the Māori visitors to UW, the group of Native UW students who spent a quarter in Iceland, and my colleagues connecting with Indigenous scholars around the world. I expressed my hope that the City of Literature could provide opportunities for the Native writers from Coast Salish territory to collaborate with other Indigenous peoples. To be the first Seattle writer to participate in the programming I imagined for the City of Literature is a tremendous honor.

I suspect that my imagination’s blank spot has to do with something that’s become commonplace in my brain lately as I take on projects that scare me in their thrilling enormity: My excitement is mixed with the sobering knowledge that I have a responsibility. I will make new relationships, represent my family and community, and learn from the people I’ll meet in Ōtautahi. I’ll come home with mental pictures of lands where, like here, people have created place by making and maintaining relationships with their environments over innumerable generations.

For more from writer Elissa Washuta, visit her website.

PRESS RELEASE: Seattle writers to participate in New Zealand literary festival

Elissa Washuta. Photo credit: Amber Cortes

(Seattle—June 23, 2016) Seattle City of Literature is pleased to announce that local writer Elissa Washuta will present a workshop and participate in a panel featuring indigenous writers at the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival in Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition to Washuta’s participation in the festival, Seattle poets Maged Zaher, Claudia Castro Luna, John Olson and Angel Gardner will have their work featured in the New Zealand literary arts journal Catalyst in connection with the festival.

Washuta, a Seattle-based memoirist and essayist, will run a non-fiction workshop for Māori writers in conjunction with Christchurch’s Ngāi Tahu tribe, and participate in a ‘Sister Cities/First Nations’ panel with a Māori writer from Christchurch, Nic Low, and an Aboriginal writer from Adelaide, Ali Cobby Eckermann.

“I am thrilled and honored to share my work in the home of the Māori people,” Washuta said. “Participating in an Indigenous writers exchange in New Zealand has been one of my dreams for years, and WORD gives me the opportunity to do this. I look forward to being in the company of such a brilliant group of writers.”

WORD Christchurch presents a variety of literary events, including a biennial Writers & Readers Festival – the largest literary event in New Zealand’s South Island. The events bring writers, thinkers and performers together to celebrate the written word and provide a window for readers to respond to ideas.

“Elissa is a masterful writer and we’re delighted that she’ll represent Seattle’s literary community in Christchurch, one of our sister cities,” said Stesha Brandon, Interim Executive Director of Seattle City of Literature. “We’re hopeful that this will be the first in an ongoing cultural exchange.”

Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the author of two books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules, named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and BuzzFeed.

She holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from The University of Washington and serves as undergraduate adviser for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and is a nonfiction faculty member in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a faculty advisor for Mud City Journal and Saturday editor for The Rumpus.

Washuta’s visit is supported by the Christchurch City Council Sister City Programme, which is supporting the attendance of an indigenous writer from both Seattle and Adelaide, two of its Sister Cities.

For more information about WORD Christchurch, visit: http://wordchristchurch.co.nz/
For more information on Elissa Washuta, visit: http://washuta.net/about-elissa

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Didi Kader
media@seattlecityoflit.org

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You’re Invited to Participate: Racial Equity and the Literary Arts

Seattle City of Literature and the Office of Arts and Culture are pleased to present the first in a series of workshops on ‘Racial Equity and the Literary Arts.’

Working with facilitator, Dr. Caprice Hollins, this program will provide a framework on how to address issues of equity and race in our community, and help to create a common language for entering into discourse.

Participants will begin to appreciate their role in becoming culturally competent by deepening their awareness of self–moving from color blindness to racial cognizance; increasing their knowledge of others and their experiences of racism and oppression; developing skills to work effectively across cultures; and advocating and taking action to initiate change.

The first workshop will take place on Thursday, June 2 from 1:30pm to 5:00pm at the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle’s City Hall. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited, so please email rsvp@seattlecityoflit to reserve your spot by May 31.

After the initial workshop, Seattle City of Literature will convene an advisory committee from the community to help shape our goals for the remaining workshops.

If you are not able to attend the first workshop but are interested in hearing about subsequent meetings, or participating in the advisory committee, let us know! Email Stesha Brandon [executive@seattlecityoflit.org] for more information.

About the facilitator:

HSW_HollinsDr. Caprice Hollins, co-founder of Cultures Connecting, LLC, received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Multicultural and Community Psychology in 1998. She became licensed in Washington State in 2000 and has over 20 years of experience teaching graduate courses, working with historically marginalized populations, researching, studying, and facilitating race related conversations. Her experience includes opening and directing the Department of Equity & Race Relations for Seattle Public Schools, developing and implementing district-wide and school-based training, while utilizing her background in psychology to assist district leaders and staff institutionalize change to promote equity and social justice. Dr. Hollins also works as a part-time core faculty in the department of counseling at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.

PRESS RELEASE: Seattle City of Literature Announces New Advisory Board, Strengthens Organization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 8, 2015

Contact: Didi Kader

206-334-3295

hanady.kader@gmail.com

Seattle City of Literature Announces New Advisory Board, Strengthens Organization

 

SEATTLE — Twenty-eight organizations have signed on as the Advisory Board for Seattle City of Literature, which is planning a bid for the city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The organizations include the Seattle Public Library, Visit Seattle, Elliott Bay Book Company, Humanities Washington, Folio: The Seattle Athanaeum, Third Place Books, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Sasquatch Books, Raven Chronicles, ARCADE, Hedgebrook, and over a dozen others.

 

The group is advising the non-profit organization Seattle City of Literature, an effort initially mobilized in 2013 by writer Ryan Boudinot. The organization also has a restructured Board of Directors, including veterans of non-profits and arts organizations. Citing unequivocal support for the community and Board, Boudinot is announcing that he is stepping down from the Board of Directors, having relinquished his Executive Director position earlier this year.

 

“Ryan did a fabulous job of manifesting a vision worthy of Seattle’s amazing literary culture,” said new board president Bob Redmond. “He laid the groundwork for an exceptional program that will help our entire community.” Boudinot was aided greatly by Rebecca Brinson, onetime Managing Director who returns in a contract role supported by the City of Seattle. While continuing to work closely with the office of Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council, the new Board has raised over $10,000 in cash and pledges, completed the process with the IRS to be a fully recognized 501(c)(3), and worked with the US State Department and key national stakeholders to ensure progress of the effort.

 

“We’re happy to see such tremendous support for Seattle’s bid,” said Redmond, former Program Director of Town Hall Seattle. “This has always been a group effort and many of these organizations have been instrumental in helping develop our program.” The centerpiece of that program remains a writers’ exchange between cities in the UNESCO network. Participating organizations will work together to share opportunities and amplify impacts.

 

“Designation as a city of literature will bring tremendous educational opportunity, help generate new writing, and support the creative economy,” said Redmond. The Advisory Board is working on details of projects to help young and established writers, while the City of Seattle has already launched its “Civic Poet” program, which is also key to the City of Literature effort. Twenty-one applicants have applied for the position, which pays $10,000. The Civic Poet will be announced this August.

 

In 2004, UNESCO launched its Creative Cities Network with the aim of “fostering international cooperation between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and enhanced influence of culture in the world.” The network covers seven thematic areas: Craft and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Media Arts, Music, and Literature — Seattle’s intended designation.

 

Perhaps emblematic of the process, a new book — titled Seattle City of Literature, and edited by Boudinot — is scheduled for publication this September by local publisher Sasquatch Books. It features essays and profiles by 52 local writers, booksellers, publishers, and other figures in Seattle’s literary community, including Tom Robbins, Claire Dederer, Elissa Washuta, Tree Swenson of Hugo House, Ruth Dickey of Seattle Arts & Lectures, and former Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken.

 

“This is a city where the only thing we love as much as language is the city itself,” said Redmond. “Our story ranges from indigenous spoken traditions to the future of books themselves. It’s a story that includes everyone, and we look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”

 

The Board is seeking endorsements of organizations and individuals, as well as donations, and will continue preparing its application, due July 15. Further information is available at seattlecityoflit.org

 

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Seattle City of Literature Advisory Board Members

as of June 8, 2015

 

African-American Writers’ Alliance

ARCADE

Book-It Repertory Theatre

Bureau of Fearless Ideas

Clarion West Writers Workshop

Elliott Bay Book Company

Fantagraphics Books

Floating Bridge Press

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

Hedgebrook

Hotel Sorrento

Hugo House

Humanities Washington

Jack Straw Cultural Center

Mountaineers Books

Poetry Northwest

Pongo Teen Writing

Raven Chronicles

Resurrection House

Sasquatch Books

Seattle Arts & Lectures

Seattle Poetics LAB (SPLAB)

Seattle Public Library/Center for the Book

Seattle7Writers

The Bushwick Book Club

Third Place Books

Town Hall Seattle

Visit Seattle

 

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