Fall Living Writers Series to feature Tobias Wolff, Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler
Karen Joy Fowler (photo by Brett Hall Jones)
Tobias Wolff
Tobias Wolff
Kate Gale
Kate Gale
Andrew Lam
Andrew Lam

Award-winning authors Tobias Wolff, Karen Joy Fowler, and Andrew Lam are just a few of the notable guests coming to UC Santa Cruz for the Fall 2014 Living Writers Series.

The series kicks off on October 9 with Ariel Gore, author of eight books and founder of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama. Gore’s latest book, The End of Eve, chronicles the years spent caring for her dying mother. This memoir has been described as “Terms of Endearment"meets "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Renowned author Tobias Wolff returns for his third visit to UC Santa Cruz on October 30. The author of such acclaimed novels as This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army, Wolff has also been the editor of Best American Short Stories and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. His work appears regularly in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Harper’s.

Karen Joy Fowler has just been shortlisted as one of six finalists for the prestigious 2014 Man Booker Prize for her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. She is the author of six novels and three short story collections--including The Jane Austen Book Club, which spent 13 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Fowler will read on November 20, along with authors Kelly Link and Kim Stanley Robinson.

Robinson is the author of a dozen books, including the bestselling Mars Trilogy and Antarctica--for which he was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.

Link’s three collections of short stories, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters, have won three Nebulas, a Hugo, and a World Fantasy Award. Interesting fact: Link once won a free trip around the world for answering the question “Why do you want to go around the world?” Her answer: “Because you can’t go through it.”

Also coming in the series are Helene Wecker, author of the The Golem and the Jinni, (November 6); and Katie Crouch, whose latest book, Abroad, is based on the Amanda Knox story (December 4).

Not to mention Andrew Lam on October 23, editor and cofounder of New America Media. A regular commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered” for many years, his essays have appeared in such newspapers as the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, and the Chicago Tribune. Joining Lam at that reading will be his editor, Kate Gale of Red Hen Press, who is also editor of the Los Angeles Review.

“The theme of the Fall Living Writers series is transformation,” noted Micah Perks, professor of literature and co-director of the Creative Writing Program at UC Santa Cruz.

“For example, “Andrew Lam is coming with his editor Kate Gale to talk about the transformations that happen when editors and writers work together on a text.”

“And Kim Stanley Robinson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Kelly Link are all writers who write sci-fi fantasy--a genre that transforms reality--but they are also three generations of teacher-students,” Perks added. “Robinson was Fowler's teacher, and Fowler was Link's student, so we'll be able to look at the transformative experience that can happen between teacher and student.”

“Translations are of course another kind of transformation,” Perks noted. “We're also bringing poet and performer Patrick Graybill with his translator as part of Eye Music: American Sign Language Poetry and Performance, an ASL festival put on by UCSC Professor of Music Larry Polansky (November 13).”

All events take place from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the Humanities Lecture Hall, adjacent to Cowell College, on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Admission is free, and the public is invited. For more information, email cwintern@gmail.com.

The Fall 2014 lineup:

  • October 9: Ariel Gore
  • October 23: Andrew Lam, Kate Gale
  • October 30: Tobias Wolff
  • November 6: Helene Wecker
  • November 13: ASL Performer Patrick Graybill, Interpreter Aaron Brace
  • November 20: Kelly Link, Kim Stanley Robinson, Karen Joy Fowler
  • December 4: Katie Crouch
  • December 11: Student Reading