Distinguished Writers Series: Susan Straight and Marlon James
February 15, 2011
Susan Straight is the author of six novels, including Highwire Moon, which was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award, and A Million Nightingales, which was a finalist for the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her new novel, which she describes as “a companion to Nightingales,” is Take One Candle Light a Room, which was published in 2010.
“The Golden Gopher,” a chapter from the novel published on its own, won the 2008 Edgar Award for best mystery story. “El Ojo de Agua,” a story about the novel's men, won a 2007 O. Henry Prize. Ms. Straight has published stories and essays in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s, Zoetrope, McSweeney’s and elsewhere. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family.
Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970. His second novel, The Book Of Night Women, published in 2009, won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2010 Minnesota Book Award in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and an NAACP Image Award.
His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize in addition to being a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection. James’ short fiction has appeared in Iron Balloons, Bronx Noir and Silent Voices. He teaches literature and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota.
The Distinguished Writers Series
The series reminds the world that reading, writing, conversation and laughter are related arts. The format is simple, the emotional reward complex. The writers read, have a conversation with the series curator, then engage in an open dialogue with the audience.
“The rigors of creativity are best appreciated at close range in small rooms where ideas swerve and loop and float with the kind of inventiveness and assurance that makes the mind swirl …” -Colin Channer, Series Curator