How do women writers view history differently than men?

That's the key question posed by "Another Look: Women Writers Re-Vision History"-the winter installment of UCSC's annual Living Writers Series.

Each quarter, the Humanities Division's literary series brings eight to 10 visiting authors and poets to campus to provide an in-depth look into the world of the working writer.

Beginning on January 13 and running through March 10, the spotlight will be on historical fiction and poetry written by nine award-winning, female authors.

"We are particularly interested in the ways women writers--who have not participated in the writing of history until very recently--might look at history," said associate literature professor Micah Perks, codirector of the UCSC Creative Writing Program with her colleague Karen Yamashita.

Perks noted that the term "re-vision history" in the series title is borrowed from a classic essay by renowned poet and feminist Adrienne Rich "about the way women must give birth to their own literary visions."

"Because women have not been the primary writers of history, they have played limited roles in official historical narratives," Perks said.

The series lineup includes Rebecca Goldstein, winner of a MacArthur "genius" award; and Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club, which spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Other highlights include Judith Freeman, whose fifth work of fiction, Red Water, was named one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times; and Nina Revoyr, whose novel, The Age of Dreaming, was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Los Angeles Magazine recently described Revoyr "as fast becoming one of the city's finest chroniclers and myth-makers."

The series kicks off on January 13 with Ana Menendez, the daughter of Cuban exiles, and now a prizewinning columnist for The Miami Herald. Menendez's short story collection In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd was a 2001 New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

"These women have all written historical fiction, but all their writing is different in very interesting ways," said Perks. "For example, Ana Menendez focused on the women around Che Guevara, Karen Joy Fowler wrote about a woman's baseball league during World War II, and Judith Freeman writes from the point of view of the wives of a Mormon leader accused of leading a massacre."

"On the other hand, many of these women writers tend to write from multiple perspectives or from the perspective of outsiders, and they often move back and forth in time, stressing the connections between contemporary women and women in the past," Perks added.

The lecture/readings will take place on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the UCSC Humanities Lecture Hall. All events are free and open to the public. Books by the visiting writers will be available for purchase at each event, courtesy of the Bay Tree Bookstore.

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Schedule:

Winter 2010 Living Writers Series:

Another Look: Women Writers Re-Vision History

(Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the UCSC Humanities Lecture Hall)

January 13: Ana Menendez, the daughter of Cuban exiles, is the author of three books of fiction including the novel Loving Che and the short story collection In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, which was a 2001 New York Times Notable book of the year. Since 1991 Menendez has worked as a journalist in the United States and abroad, and has spent the last three years as a prize- winning columnist for The Miami Herald.

January 27: Rebecca Goldstein is the author of 36 Arguments For the Existence of God and of six works of fiction, including The Mind-Body Problem, Mazel, and Properties of Light. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she has received many awards for her fiction and scholarship, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "genius" award." This event is co-sponsored by Jewish Studies.

February 3: Karen Joy Fowler is the author of The Jane Austen Book Club, which spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler's previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 Pen/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season.

Karen Yamashita, winner of The American Book Award is the author of Circle K Cycles (2001), Tropic of Orange (1997), Brazil-Maru (1992), Through the Arc of the Rainforest (1990), and the forthcoming I Hotel. She has also written a number of plays, including Hannah Kusoh, Noh Bozos, and -Men, which was produced by the Asian American theatre group, East West Players.

February 17: Nina Revoyr was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a white American father, and grew up in Tokyo, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of three novels. Nina's third book, The Age of Dreaming, was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Los Angeles Magazine wrote that "Nina Revoyr... is fast becoming one of the city's finest chroniclers and myth-makers."

Judith Freeman is a novelist, essayist, critic, and short story writer whose first work of nonfiction, The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and The Woman He Loved, was published by Pantheon in 2007. Her fifth work of fiction, Red Water, was named one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times.

February 24: Debra Magpie Earling's novel, Perma Red, was published in 2002. Her publications also include stories in The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology, Talking Leaves: Contemporary Native American Short Stories, Circle of Women: Anthology of Western Women Writers, and Wild Women: Anthology of Women Writers.

Aja Couchois Duncan is a Bay Area educator of Ojibwe, French and Scottish descent. Her writing has been anthologized in Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative, Bay Poetics, and Love Shook My Heart 2.

March 10: Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Interpretive Work, which won the Audre Lorde Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. She has completed a second book of poems about Arctic and Antarctic exploration, titled Approaching Ice, that was published in late 2009. In addition to leading a literary life, Liz works as a naturalist and marine educator.

For more information contact Micah Perks: meperks@ucsc.edu.