March 2021

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03/01/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Lavinia Spalding with Kaitlin Barker Davis, Erin Byrne & Anna Vodicka
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
The twelfth edition of Travelers’ Tales’ Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12: True Stories from Around the World anthology is celebrated this evening with series editor Lavinia Spalding being joined by Pacific Northwest contributors Kaitlin Barker Davis, Erin Byrne, and Anna Vodicka. More than usual this year’s anthology helps fill the yen and yearn to travel such as we haven’t been able to with the pandemic. This anthology does do that in a literary way, and this reading should be a nice sample of the range to be found. Kaitlin Barker Davis’ piece is set in Indonesia, Erin Byrne’s in France, and Anna Vodicka’s in Bolivia. Lavinia Sparling, who has edited five previous editions, will set the stage and talk a little about the other writing and about the world we are all in now. “For more than 20 years, Travelers’ Tales has been publishing books that might best be described as the literary equivalent of a group of travelers sitting around a dim café, sipping pints or prosecco and trading their best stories.” - Andrew McCarthy, The New York Times Book Review.   Event Registration  
 

03/02/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Elizabeth Becker with Joni Balter
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Becker - the author of When the War was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution and Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, looks at the lives and work of three remarkable women who were international war correspondents. In You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War (Public Affairs), she gives readers Kate Webb, Catherine Leroy, and Frances FitzGerald, three journalists coming from different countries, all in Vietnam in 1965 to cover the war there. "Elizabeth Becker resurrects the long-forgotten stories and enormous sacrifices made by a generation of women who paved the way for the rest of us. Elegant, angry and utterly engaging, it is a long overdue story about a small band of courageous and visionary women. You Don’t Belong Here is a masterpiece of a book."—Rachel Louise Snyder. “Every journalist should read this stunning book. Actually everyone should. Elizabeth Becker has that rare ability to weave the fascinating stories of three ground-breaking, very different women journalists with a riveting history of the Vietnam War.  She challenges you to see who these women were in a place they allegedly didn't belong, while describing what and how they witnessed it.” —Anne Garrels. We are delighted that appearing with Elizabeth Becker in this online program will be Joni Balter, esteemed Seattle journalist, editor, Seattle University scholar in residence, lecturer at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and maestro of Seattle CityClub’s Civic Cocktail series.   Event Registration  
 
 

03/04/2021 - 5:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Jack Halberstam with Radhika Govindrajan, María Elena García, and Chadan Reddy
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
This should be spirited fun - even though how much more so if this was being done in-person. Eminent author and gender studies academic Jack Halberstam, who has spoken at Elliott Bay before, pays a virtual visit this way, here to be joined by a panel of three lively University of Washington professors, themselves authors of note. Radhika Govindrajan (Animal Intimacies), María Elena García (Gastropolitics and the Specter of Race: Stories of Capital, Culture, and Coloniality in Peru - out this month!), and Chandan Reddy (Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State) will be on hand in an online way to help Jack Halberstam present Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire (Duke University Press). “How does one learn about wildness? Coming from a longtime scholar of sexuality, the animal, desire, and anarchy, Jack Halberstam's Wild Things fosters a generous archive, favoring bewilderment over a ritual turn back to order and knowing. Following this book constitutes a kind of epistemological travel and culminates in a habit of sensation, a disorderly campaign, and a queer method that will stay with you.” — Mel Y. Chen. “Where can the wild take you? With Jack Halberstam as guide, to places fabulous, cruel, soaring, undead, hilarious, dark, seductive, promising, nonprovidential. Wild Things is a brilliant phenomenology of the (more than) human condition of bewilderment. Its critique of invocations of wildness tethered to colonial, racist fantasies also marks how the figure can contribute to forms of desire bent toward the feral, the incipient, the otherwise. Wild Things is an awesome trip.” — Jane Bennett. Jack Halberstam, who is Professor of English and Gender Studies at Columbia University, is also the author of  The Queer Art of Failure, Female Masculinity, and Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability, Gaga Feminism, and much more. Event Registration   We’d also like to note that, immediately following this program, you are also invited to join the Imaginary Trans Futures Crossdisciplinary Research Cluster and the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics Cultural Change seminar for a talk and conversation with Dr. Cameron Awkward-Rich on Thursday, March 4, 2021, 6-7:30p PST. Cameron Awkward-Rich is a poet and scholar of transgender theory/cultural production. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Sympathetic Little Monster' (2016) and 'Dispatch' (2019). The event is also free and open to the public. Click here for more information and registration.
 

03/05/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Suleika Jaouad with Cheryl Strayed
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
We are delighted to be able to add this ‘last-minute’ program, coming in the wake of the publication of Emmy Award-winning writer, speaker, cancer survivor, and activist Souleika Jaouad’s most extraordinary memoir, Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted (Random House). Helping make this online program even more engaging will be that joining her in conversation will be much-loved author (Wild) and sage human being Cheryl Strayed. As challenging as it is to get word out on first books (or most any books) in these pandemic times, word is getting out on this account of indelible spirit in facing death and also in truly facing life. “I want to describe Suleika Jaouad with words like ‘courageous,’ ‘resilient,’ ‘vulnerable,’ and ‘inspiring’—but I understand that, for cancer survivors, these words can feel like empty clichés. The problem is, these words are true. Suleika Jaouad is courageous, resilient, vulnerable, and inspiring. And her memoir about her cancer journey is a work of breathtaking creativity and heart-stopping humanity. Jaouad’s story goes where you never expect it to go—not only into the depths of her own pain and lost years, but into the spirits of countless strangers (sick and well) she meets along the highway of own her life and illuminates with rare generosity and grace. This is a deeply moving and passionate work of art, quite unlike anything I’ve ever read. I will remember these stories for years to come, because Suleika Jaouad has imprinted them on my heart.”—Elizabeth Gilbert. “A beautiful, elegant, and heartbreaking book that provides a glimpse into the kingdom of illness . . . Suleika Jaouad avoids sentimentality but manages to convey the depth of the emotional turmoil that illness can bring into our lives.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee. “When the life we had is snatched away, how do we find the conviction to live another? Between Two Kingdoms will resonate with anyone who is living a different life than they planned to live. This is a propulsive, soulful story of mourning and gratitude—and an intimate portrait of one woman’s sojourn in the wilderness between life and death.”—Tara Westover. Event Registration  
 

03/06/2021 - 2:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Véronique Tadjo with Odile Cazenave
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Along with our friends and colleagues at Alliance Française de Seattle, we are pleased to present this evening with celebrated poet, novelist, artist, and academic Véronique Tadjo. Hailing from Côte d’Ivoire, and for many years the chair of the French Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, she has all the while been producing work that has been published in translations and editions around the world. This program is occasioned by U.S. publication of a novel centering on the Ebola outbreak that struck West Africa, In the Company of Men (Other Press). “It is chilling to read Véronique Tadjo’s In the Company of Men when the world trapped by Covid-19 wonders why the numbers on the African continent are still not skyrocketing. The book reminds us that pandemics are world phenomena, and in doing so hits its most lyrical tone. Tadjo lets the virus speak, speak to us, and answer in the face of disaster and community, in the court of the people, animals, and trees. A necessary book today.” —Patrice Nganang. “Véronique Tadjo’s In the Company of Men is more than a story about Ebola. This novel, elegiac and sorrowful, is also an affirmation of the cycle of life and nature’s important place in it. What do the living owe to the dead? What do they owe to the earth, which both protects and punishes? Tadjo offers us her powerful, luminous answers in this book.” —Maaza Mengiste.   Véronique Tadjo will appear in conversation with Odile Cazenave, Professor of French Studies in Romance Studies, African Studies, and the Center for the Study of Europe, and an Associate Faculty with the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University where she is the Chair of Romance Studies. Co-présenter avec Alliance Française de Seattle (www.afseattle.org).   Event Registration  
 
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03/08/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Alliance Française de Seattle
Scott Dominic Carpenter
Virtually Hosted by Alliance Française de Seattle
Another evening with our friends and amis at Alliance Française de Seattle brings Scott Dominic Carpenter to readers and vicarious travelers here, as he engagingly depicts life in Paris as one who feels not far from his Minnesota roots as chronicled in French Like Moi: A Midwesterner in Paris (Travelers’ Tales). “Sit back with a croissant and an espresso—or better yet, du vin et du fromage—and treat yourself to the delights and dilemmas of being a Midwesterner in Paris. Reading Scott Carpenter’s tales of life in the French capital will make you laugh, marvel, and daydream about amping up the adventure in your own life. Merci Monsieur Carpenter!” —Lorna Landvik. “Loaded with lacerating wit and trenchant but tender observations, Scott Carpenter’s French Like Moi is also a true original: a serious memoir that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is this humility that gives Carpenter’s book its undeniable strength—that, and his vivid, often hilarious storytelling.” —Marcia DeSanctis. Co-présenter avec Alliance Française de Seattle (www.afseattle.org).   Event Registration  
 
 

03/10/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Forsyth Harmon with E.J. Koh
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
New York-based writer and illustrator Forsyth Harmon tells her cathartic coming-of-age fictional narrative, Justine (Tin House), in striking words and image. Summer boredom and ennui, playing itself out in a Long Island suburban setting, lights up when one adolescent young woman is entirely smitten by another. All that might happen .... “Punctuated by the spare and elegant line drawings (an attenuated ankle here, a stout can of Diet Coke there), Forsyth Harmon’s Justine is a novel both universal (who didn’t have an unhealthily intimate best-friendship in high school?) and also highly specific (if you also remember Bridget Hall’s late-’90s Ralph Lauren ads, hello). Ali is in high school, unhappy at home, where she lives with her cat and her TV-loving grandmother, and pretty instantly infatuated with Justine, her beautiful, impossibly cool coworker at the Stop & Shop. Their friendship has the same fuzzy electric quality as doing whip-its—the high is only a little less fleeting. Harmon depicts this heady time of life with an exquisite tenderness, a clarity that can only come from distance, and a sensitivity to this most formative part of our lives, when both nothing and everything seem possible all at once.”—Refinery29. “Devastatingly attuned to the longing, loathing, and eroticism that can run between two teenage girls.”—Hermione Hoby. Forsyth Harmon’s illustrations have also appeared in The Art of the Affair and Melissa Febos’ Girlhood. With Forsyth Harmon in conversation this evening will be Seattle writer and poet EJ Koh, whose recent, acclaimed memoir, The Magical Language of Others, is its own powerful recounting of a period of adolescence.   Event Registration  
 

03/11/2021 - 12:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Frye Creative Aging Series
Lynn Casteel Harper
Virtually Hosted by Frye Creative Aging Series
The Frye Museum’s Creative Aging Series today features this midday appearance by Baptist minister and nursing home chaplain Lynn Casteel Harper, author of the recently published On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia, and What It Means to Disappear (Catapult).  A 2020 New York Times’ Editors’ Choice selection, this book has caused a stir. “A compassionate collection of essays examining dementia from an unusually hopeful point of view . . . Harper moves smoothly between abstract reflections and concrete experiences, reflecting often on the effects of dementia on her grandfather and on her relationship with him, her fears that a genetic link to the disease may have been passed down to her, and her encounters with many individuals, all described in strikingly specific terms, surviving dementia in their own ways . . . Moving insights into a situation many will face.” —Kirkus Reviews. “A searching, poetic inquiry into dementia. . . . [Harper] writes without fear or aversion but with a robust, restless curiosity, a keenness to reframe our understanding of dementia with sensitivity and accuracy. . . . In her beautifully unconventional book, Harper examines the porousness of the borders, the power of imagination and language to grant better futures to our loved ones and ourselves.” —Parul Sehgal, The New York Times.  Presented by the Frye Art Museum’s Creative Aging Series.   Event registration  
 

03/11/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Kazim Ali & Danielle Geller
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Life stories and geography get a little flipped around for what should be a compelling evening as poet, novelist, and essayist Kazim Ali, who lives and teaches in San Diego, writes of what happened with a Manitoba town he grew up in in his haunting, beautiful book, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water (Milkweed), while Navajo writer Danielle Geller, living and teaching in Victoria, writes of her own growing up far south of there, and, in particular, retracing her mother’s life, in her powerful memoir, Dog Flowers (One World). These two know each other, so this should be an extra pleasure. This is Kazim Ali’s third virtual appearance with us this year, following his reading from the anthology of queer South Asian poetry, The World That Belongs to Us, and an evening he and poet Rick Barot shared, Kazim Ali reading from The Voice of Sheila Chandra. “Poet Ali chronicles his return to the small Canadian town he lived in during early childhood in this layered memoir ... Upon his return to Jenpeg—built to house people constructing a dam on the Nelson River—he found that the town no longer exists and the native community, the Pimicikamak, were suffering the economic and environmental impacts of the dam ... Ali began to study the ways the dam changed the landscape ... as a way to empathize with the challenges faced by the Pimicikamak and to understand the legacy of the dam his family helped build ... Ali’s prose shines when recalling his interactions with members of the Pimicikamak community and friends. Those concerned with environmental justice or the plight of Indigenous peoples will want to give this a look.” - Publishers Weekly. “Dog Flowers pulls the few remaining threads of an unraveled family life. This courageous, honest, desperate, tender, and compelling book tells a daughter’s story of her troubled mother. In Dog Flowers, we learn that a handful of threads can never reweave the blanket of family, or patch up what a mother’s abandonment has torn. What little we learn of Geller’s Navajo mother comes from collaged notes and journal entries, photographs and reportage; it’s a story full of gaps. Which is exactly what’s remarkable about this book: Geller does not seek to make anything whole but herself. She refuses to deal in the tropes of redemption and reconciliation—which just shows how much strength it takes not to judge another’s life or lie about it. Even her return to her mother’s Navajo Nation does not bring about an easy cultural reunion, although it does give us a satisfying sense that while an immediate family can fall apart, an extended family, a tribe, ties a tight web that might just hold.”—Heid E. Erdrich.   Event Registration  
 
 

03/13/2021 - 2:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Third Place Books
Kazuo Ishiguro with Ruth Ozeki
Virtually Hosted by Third Place Books
We are thrilled and honored to be presenting, along with bookselling colleagues at Third Place Books here in Seattle and Lake Forest Park, and Village Books in Bellingham, this special virtual appearance by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro. This program is occasioned by his transcendent new novel, Klara and the Sun (Knopf), his first since receiving the Nobel Prize in 2017. For all of us at Elliott Bay, this marks a continuation of connection that began with his first U.S. book tour in 1989, when he came to Elliott Bay for The Remains of the Day. That was before that book would receive the Booker Prize. He has made his way here most every book since, including 2015, when he was here for The Buried Giant. Klara and the Sun is the story of a fragile but spirited young girl and Klara, the Artificial Friend, who is purchased from a store to be her companion. “Nobel laureate Ishiguro takes readers to a vaguely futuristic, technologically advanced setting reminiscent of his Never Let Me Go for a surprising parable about love, humanity, and science. Klara is an Artificial Friend (AF), a humanlike robot designed to be a child’s companion. She spends her days watching humans from her perch in the AF store, fascinated by their emotions and hungry to learn enough to help her future owner. Klara, who is solar-powered, reveres the sun for the “nourishment” and upholds “him” as a godlike figure. … As with Ishiguro’s other works, the rich inner reflections of his protagonists offer big takeaways, and Klara’s quiet but astute observations of human nature land with profound gravity (‘There was something very special, but it wasn’t inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her,’ Klara says). This dazzling genre-bending work is a delight.” - Publishers Weekly. In addition to receiving the Nobel Prize and the Booker Prize, Kazuo Ishiguro’s many distinctions include the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star from Japan, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre from France. Making this day even more special is that Kauzo Ishiguro will be joined in conversation by esteemed novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki. She is the best-selling author of three novels, My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being, which was translated and published in over thirty-five countries and shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. Her new novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, will be published by Viking in September, 2021. She teaches creative writing at Smith College where she is the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities. Tickets ($35) include a copy of Klara and the Sun (shipped via Media Mail to addresses within the Continental U.S. only).  A bookplate signed by Kazuo Ishiguro will also be included, but supplies are limited.  Presented by Elliott Bay Book Company, Third Place Books, and Village Books. You will receive a book from one of the three participating bookstores.   Event Registration  
 
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03/14/2021 - 5:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Rebecca Solnit with Carrie Brownstein
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
A metaphorical dusting ourselves off and asking, where were we, now? Almost exactly one year after the announced live and in-person appearance by Rebecca Solnit and Carrie Brownstein would have happened for her extraordinary, then-newly released memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence (Penguin) but had to be scuttled, as most all else did, with the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects taking hold, we are delighted to be able to present the two of them virtually in conversation, this time knowing what ‘zoom’ is in doing so. This memoir, coming in the wake of Rebecca Solnit’s most recent previous books, including Whose Story is This? and Cinderella Liberator, is a singular work of insight, voice, and context - the ability to see own her coming into adult life from personal, as well social, cultural, and historical perspectives. It is a memoir writ large - instructive for and to so many learning to navigate into meaningful, engaged, adult life. “For Solnit fans, her new memoir is a glimpse of all that was ‘taking form out of sight,’ providing a key to understanding much of her work to date. Yet simply as a coming-of-age narrative, it also has much to offer someone new to her writing. [Recollections] often reverses the figure-ground relationship, portraying the emergence of a writer and her voice from a particular cultural moment and set of fortuitous influences . . . [It] often reads as a letter to young activists and women writers—less ‘back in my day’ and more ‘I fought, and am fighting, the same battles you are … At the same time that [Solnit] describes her forays into her past, she invites us to connect pieces of her story to our own, as a measure of how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go.” —Jenny Odell, The New York Times Book Review. “Rebecca Solnit’s opposition to injustice in its many forms, and her relentless inquiry as a writer and reporter into a great range of issues—racial injustice, nuclear weapons, indigenous rights, male hegemony—have defined the outrage and politics of much of her generation. In Recollections of My Nonexistence she draws all these potent metaphors for inequity together into a moral stance that transcends the particulars of all her topics. This is a remarkable book—smart, brave, edgy, insightful, and authentic.” —Barry Lopez. As was the plan a year ago, it will be Carrie Brownstein - she of Sleater-Kinney and Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl renown - in conversation with Rebecca Solnit. Delayed gratification this all is, but this certainly should be gratifying to all who take this in. Since the last time, to the best of recollection, Rebecca Solnit publicly appeared in Seattle, her landmark essay collection, Men Explain Things to Me, had been most recently published - this coming after an already vital body of writing that included such books as The Faraway Nearby, River of Shadows, Hope in the Dark, Hollow City, A Paradise Built in Hell, and more. The half-dozen years since Men Explain Things to Me have brought readers at least six more titles, including this past year’s Whose Story Is This? and her recasting of the Cinderella story, Cinderella Liberator. “An inquisitive, perceptive, and original thinker and enthralling writer . . . Solnit has created an unconventional and galvanizing memoir-in-essays that shares key, often terrifying, formative moments in her valiant writing life . . . [and] illuminates with piercing lyricism the body-and-soul dangers women face in our complexly, violently misogynist world . . . an incandescent addition to the literature of dissent and creativity.” —Booklist. “This powerful memoir reveals how Solnit’s coming-of-age as a journalist and a woman in 1980s San Francisco shaped her as a writer and a feminist. She grapples with sexual harassment, poverty, trauma, and women’s exclusion from the cultural conversation, while discovering punk rock and the LGBTQ+ community as safe havens. Her words have long empowered people who feel voiceless, and her latest book is no exception.” —Good Housekeeping. Tickets ($22) include a paperback copy of Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir (shipped via media mail to an address in the continental U.S.) A limited number of the books will include a bookplate signed by Rebecca Solnit.   Event Registration  
 

03/15/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Viet Thanh Nguyen with Luis Alberto Urrea
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
We are thrilled to be presenting this special Seattle and Elliott Bay return, albeit in virtual form by one of the most essential voices in this country’s writing at present, Viet Thanh Nguyen. Here just over a year ago - when people could really go and be places - when he appeared with his son Ellison for their co-created (with Thi Bui and her son Hien-Bui Stafford) children’s book, Chicken of the Sea, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Sympathizer, other amazing books of short stories and historical reckoning, and an ongoing cultural critic regularly appearing in the New York Times, this online visit is occasioned by the publication of his much-anticipated new novel, The Committed (Grove Press). Yes, this is a sequel to The Sympathizer, albeit one you needn’t read its predecessor to know where you are, our unnamed protagonist having made it out of U.S. predicaments and over to Paris, where he faces yet more. “The Committed is nothing short of revelatory. As it haunts, bifurcates, and envelops us in its illumination of all that we have failed to notice about the far reaches of colonization, we are also thrilled by its many turns and charms. This book is fierce, and unrelentingly good. Hilarious and subversive, philosophical and hallucinatory, it is much more than a sequel, more like a necessary appendage in a brilliant and expansive anti-colonial body of work, from the twisted and playful mind of the one and only Viet Thanh Nguyen. Bravo.”—Tommy Orange. “This follow-up to his seminal The Sympathizer is Nguyen at his most ambitious and bold. Fierce in tone, capacious, witty, sharp, and deeply researched, The Committed marks, not just a sequel to its groundbreaking predecessor, but a sum total accumulation of a life devoted to Vietnamese American history and scholarship. This novel, like all daring novels, is a Trojan Horse, whose hidden power is a treatise of global futurity in the aftermath of colonial conquest. It asks questions central both to Vietnamese everywhere—and to our very species: How do we live in the wake of seismic loss and betrayal? And, perhaps even more critically, How do we laugh?”—Ocean Vuong. This book has, and is, so much. Nguyen will appear in conversation with Luis Alberto Urrea, a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and the best-selling author of 18 books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He's been honored with a 2019 Pushcart Prize, an American Academy of Arts & Letters award and an Edgar Award. His most recent book is The House of Broken Angels, a NYTimes Notable Book of the year, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and recently acquired by the Hulu network for a series. His novel Into the Beautiful North is a selection of the NEA Big Reads program. He is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His books include The House of Broken Angels (Back Bay Books) Presented with promotional support from Alliance Française de Seattle. Event Registration  
 

03/15/2021 - 7:30pm

Virtually Hosted by Town Hall Seattle
Robert Kolker with Dr. David Eagleman
Virtually Hosted by Town Hall Seattle
From the outside, the Galvin family seemed to be living the American Dream: a happy family with twelve children who perfectly spanned the baby boom, and a trajectory of upward mobility. Behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? Award-winning author Robert Kolker joins us via livestream in conversation with neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman to share this heartrending story, the subject of his book Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of An American Family (Doubleday). With clarity and compassion, he presents the extraordinary history of the Galvins, one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Exploring how their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia and how their stolen DNA has informed decades of genetic research, he uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope. Robert Kolker is the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls. As a journalist, his work has appeared in New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, O Magazine, and Men’s Journal. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and a recipient of the 2011 Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Dr. David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and internationally best-selling author. He teaches brain plasticity at Stanford University, is the creator and host of the Emmy-nominated television series The Brain, and is the CEO of Neosensory, a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware. He is the author of eight books—including Livewired: The Inside Story of the Human Brain, out in May 2021.   Event Registration  
 

03/16/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
David Laskin with Deb Caletti
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Seattle writer David Laskin, author of ten quite varied non-fiction  books over a thirty-year span, including The Children’s Blizzard, The Long Way Home, and The Family, tonight reads from and discusses his first novel, What Sammy Knew (Penguin). He does so in the good virtual company of award-winning YA and adult Seattle novelist Deb Caletti. This coming-of-age novel tells the story of a young man coming into adulthood in all manner of ways as the 1960s become the 1970s, and he goes from relatively sheltered suburban Long Island to all kinds of doings - sexual, political, would-be revolutionary - in Manhattan’s East Village. “Laskin’s narrative captures it all–the fervor, the drugs, the sex, the politics, the magic, the tragedy of the 60s and 70s and most of all the angst of that wonderful, terrible time. A fun, transporting, and evocative read.” –Daniel James Brown. “A powerful coming-of-age novel that’s shockingly contemporary and undeniably relevant. Both brilliantly complex and relentlessly page-turning, devastating and tender.” —Deb Caletti. As for the much-honored Deb Caletti’s own writing, she in 2020 has had two novels released, Girl, Unframed (Simon & Schuster) and The Weird in the Wilds (Putnam), with One Great Lie (Simon & Schuster) due out in 2021.   Event Registration  
 

03/17/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Kim Addonizio & Martín Espada
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Two excellent poets, each with new collections, and each of whom has read at Elliott Bay when all was done live and in-person, give this virtual reading tonight from newly released collections. Kim Addonizio holds forth with her all-out eighth book of poems, Now We’re Getting Somewhere (W.W. Norton). However bleak the perspective that can come with these poems of lived, examined, and experienced life, there is also a fervent, soaring life force at work that is something to behold. “ Several moments in these poems suggest a universal despair and loneliness that feels in keeping with the present moment, but Addonizio’s incredible comedic timing and brilliance at subverting the reader’s expectations ensures the mood is never too dark for long. These poems are brilliant reflections from the high priestess of the confessional.” - Publishers Weekly. Martín Espada is (virtually) here as the author and/or translator of over twenty books of poems and essays, with Floaters (W.W. Norton) his newest poetry collection. “Along with his trademark blend of gravitas, humor and raucous imagination, we get an Espada more vulnerable, a voice more intimate, than any we’ve heard from him before. Martín Espada has long established himself as one of our most prolific and important poets, his body of work a canon unto itself. Floaters is another cannon in that canon.” - John Murillo.   Event Registration  
 

03/18/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Town Hall Seattle
Rob Dunn
Virtually Hosted by Town Hall Seattle
What exactly are flavors? Why are some so pleasing while others are not? What is the relationship between Paleolithic art and cheese? Ecology professor Rob Dunn joins us via livestream to offer bold new perspectives on why food is enjoyable and how the pursuit of delicious flavors has guided the course of human history. In Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human, co-written with Monica Sanchez, Dunn argues that deliciousness is an overlooked feature of the story of animal evolution. He shares stories from the book: stories about the pleasures of chimpanzees, the taste of mastodons, the mysteries of avocados, and more. He endeavors to show how a consideration of flavor and deliciousness changes the way we think about and make sense of the natural world: they shape the behavior of cats and dogs, they shape the use of tools by chimpanzees—they may even account for some of the major transitions in human evolution. Don’t miss these toothsome tales that are likely to change the way you think about flavor. Rob Dunn is a professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University and in the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of Never Home Alone.   Event Registration  
 

03/18/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Spencer Reece & Kathleen Flenniken
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Poet Spencer Reece, virtually here tonight with a book of poetically-charged prose, and Washington State Book Award-winning poet Kathleen Flenniken with her newest book of poems read and talk together this evening. For Spencer Reece, there is his new book, The Secret Gospel of Mark: A Poet’s Memoir (Seven Stories Press), along with early copies of his new illustrated book, All the Beauty Still Left: A Poet’s Painted Book of Hours (Turtle Point Press). “Spencer Reece’s The Secret Gospel of Mark is ‘a memoir-breviary, a poetry devotional’ for our time, in the company of Thomas Merton’s The Seven Story Mountain. With extraordinary candor, Reece discloses the whole of his life, body and soul, as poet and priest, brother and son. It is an extraordinary journey of sexual and spiritual awakening, in the company of poets from beginning to end. A profound and necessary work, luminous and full of grace.” —Carolyn Forché. Spencer Reece’s poetry collections include the Bakeless Prize-winning The Clerk’s Tale and The Road to Emmaus. Kathleen Flenniken’s newest book, following Famous and Plume, is Post Romantic (University of Washington Press). “Flenniken’s ambition is fully realized as she skillfully enlists a variety of innovative forms and voices. The result is stunning. Post Romantic is both a product of and a gift for challenging times. If poetry can sustain us—and I believe it can—this collection is a lifesaver.” - Holly J. Hughes. “Not only does Flenniken grapple with personal feelings about loss, fear, and growing older, she also examines, with a wider lens, white America’s romantic view of the past. The poems are layered so that we move seamlessly between childhood, marriage, histories of war operations, and marginalization and displacement of others.”- Erin Malone.    Event Registration  
 
 

03/20/2021 - 2:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Layla AlAmmar
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Joining us today from the UK (hence the weekend starting time) where she is pursuing doctoral work on ‘the intersection of Arab women’s fiction and literary trauma theory’ is Kuwait-born novelist Layla AlAmmar. She has written two novels, both to much acclaim, the second of which has become her first to be published in the U.S., Silence is a Sense (Algonquin). A woman has fled her homeland of Syria because of the civil war there, coming to the UK - and trying there to reckon what it has all meant, even if words aren’t there for saying it. “Silence Is a Sense is a fierce novel. The prose is ferocious, the pace is ferocious and the beguiling central character, known as The Voiceless, conceals behind her inability—or reluctance — to speak, a striking, visceral intensity. She obsessively watches the people around her to silence her own trauma, but every now and then it can’t help but break through. Layla AlAmmar has skillfully woven a narrative of memory and grief with an illuminating social critique of the position of asylum seekers within contemporary British society. It is daring and devastating." —Fiona Mozley. “Kuwaiti-American author Layla AlAmmar masterfully depicts that silence is a refuge, too, for people affected by the unspeakable . . . AlAmmar succeeds in challenging the refugee or asylum-seeker stereotype, including the one of a young Arab woman.”—The Markaz Review.   Event Registration  
 
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03/22/2021 - 5:00pm

Virtually hosted by Dey Street Publishing
Jo Koy with Chelsea Handler
Virtually hosted by Dey Street Publishing
Please join us for a special, national event with Jo Koy and Chelsea Handler. Tickets ($31) include access to the Crowdcast and a copy of Jo Koy's book, Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo (Dey Street) (mailed to you via Media Mail in the Continental U.S. only). We will email the Crowdcast link on the morning of the event, which is on Monday, 3/22. From Jo Koy, on Mixed Plate: "Well guys, here it is—my story. A funny, sad, at times pathetic but also kick-ass tale of how a half-Filipino, half-white kid whose mom thought (and still thinks) his career goal was to a become clown became a success. Not an overnight success, because that would have made for a really short read, but an All-American success who could give my immigrant mom the kind of life she hoped for when she came to this country, and my son the kind of life I wished I’d had as a kid. With all the details of what it felt like to get the doors closed in my face, to grind it out on the road with my arsenal of dick jokes, and how my career finally took off once I embraced the craziness of my family, which I always thought was uniquely Filipino but turns out is as universal as it gets. Jo Koy, one of today’s premiere comedians, entertains audiences across the world and inspires them with his infectious  energy. His 2017 Netflix special, Jo Koy: Live from Seattle, was so successful that he released a follow-up sequel in June 2019, and his 2017  Break the Mold tour sold out tens of thousands of seats from New York City to Sydney to Amsterdam. In July 2018, he was named Stand-Up Comedian of the Year at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival. He lives in Los Angeles. Comedian and writer Chelsea Handler's new standup special, Evolution is out now on HBOMax. She is also the author of Life will be the Death of Me.    Event registration  
 

03/23/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Jess Zimmerman - Postponed
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
This event has been RESCHEDULED for April 16th, at 6pm. Through fresh analysis of eleven female monsters, including Medusa, the Harpies, the Furies, and the Sphinx, Jess Zimmerman, author of Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology (Beacon Press) takes us on an illuminating feminist journey through mythology. She guides women (and others) to reexamine their relationships with traits like hunger, anger, ugliness, and ambition, teaching readers to embrace a new image of the female hero: one that looks a lot like a monster, with the agency and power to match.   “Women and Other Monsters reconsiders and spins anew myths that have long instructed and inspired us, detailing modern and longstanding terrors women face while illuminating the monstrous powers we may yet reclaim. I started to make a list of people I wanted to give this book to, then realized the answer was just ‘everyone I know.’ Jess Zimmerman’s writing is always a gift, and this is a work of epic bravery and beauty, brimming with insights that slice to the bone.”--—Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir.  Jess Zimmerman is the editor in chief of Electric Literature. Her essays, fiction, opinion pieces, and prose poetry have appeared in publications including Vice, Slate, The Cut, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and the New Republic. She is also the co-author of Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven.    Event Registration  
 

03/24/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Corky Parker with Nancy Leson
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
A few lifetimes ago, at least for some of us, there is memory of Corky Parker as being the creative director and cofounder of an independent Seattle film company. Then, as can happen, we lost track of her, as she took on other trajectories and locales. Before coming to situate herself in Port Townsend, there were the twenty-plus years she spent running La Finca Caribe, an ‘eco-lodge’ in Vieques, Puerto Rico. That life, that place, that work are lovingly and enchantingly chronicled in her beautiful illustrated book, La Finca: Love, Loss, and Laundry on a Tiny Puerto Rican Island (Trinity University Press). “The beauty of Vieques and La Finca Caribe shines brightly. Corky Parker’s passion for the land, food, and culture of this Puerto Rican island is infectious.” — Alice Waters. “A frank, sometimes heartbreaking account of what it means to nurture a childhood dream. Filled with delightful doodles, this playful yet humbling story takes you to a magical place.” — Summer Brenner. “Lively, touching, and utterly original!” — Rebecca Wells. With Corky Parker in conversation this evening will be Nancy Leson, a long time restaurant critic and food columnist at The Seattle Times, now doing food commentary (and recipes) at the NPR affiliate KNKX, and leading food tours (when those are possible), and teaching cooking classes.   Event Registration  
 

03/25/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Densho
Diane C. Fujino with Karen Maeda Allman
Virtually Hosted by Densho
University of California, Santa Barbara, professor of Asian American Studies Diane C. Fujino, who books include Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama and Samurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance and a Paradoxical Life, continues with her groundbreaking series of radical Asian American activists with her newest book, Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake (University of Washington Press). This is a story with strong Seattle roots - Mitsuye Yamada nee Yasutake and her brother Michael Yasutake were part of a family that grew up on Seattle’s Beacon Hill - until forcibly removed and incarcerated at the Minidoka concentration camp during World War II. As individuals - and as siblings - they took a path then and throughout the course of their lives (Michael Yasutake passed away at age 81 in 2001, Mitsuye Yamada is still with us and still at it, due to turn 98 this year), to act from conscience, conviction, and justice-based purpose, Michael Yasutake in church ministry and pacifist activism, Mitsuye Yamada with fiercely eloquent poetry and poetic activism. “A significant contribution to the fields of Asian American studies and history. By tracing how the siblings' confrontations of sexism, racism, and imperialism evolved over decades, Fujino shows how activism in prior eras informed activism in others.” - Daryl Joji Maeda.  Part of this program will include a video interview with Mitsuye Yamada. We will add that one of our enduring memories of presenting authors at Elliott Bay was having the honor of hosting Mitsuye Yamada in 1989 for the publication of her book of poems, Camp Notes and Other Writings, that edition by the indomitable Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. 1989 saw publication of this by Mitsuye Yamada and Hisaye Yamamoto’s Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories - two vital books by pioneering Asian American writers, those helping pave the way and open others for writers to come. Co-presented with Densho.   Event Registration  
 
 
 
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03/30/2021 - 5:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Melanie Challenger & David Quammen
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Two extraordinary writers, bringing readers ‘news of the universe’ in kindred though distinctly different ways, give this virtual presentation and conversation - that should be something. Melanie Challenger has first become known in her British homeland as a poet, and then as one working on the place of the human in the larger world, especially as being a more appropriate,  genuine part of this world. She does this most recently and most tellingly in her new book, How to Be Animal: A New History of What It Means to Be Human (Penguin). She does so this evening, paired with David Quammen, a writer who has been coming to Elliott Bay almost since the beginning of our hosting authors. We may be among the few places that first knew him as a fiction writer, with the 1987 publication of his book, Blood Line: Stories of Fathers and Sons from Graywolf Press. The science and nature writing since have abounded, books including Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Heart, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, The Song of the Dodo, Natural Acts, Ebola, and many more. His 2012 book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (W.W. Norton), has become his most timely, in light of what is upon us, worth the visit in reading, and in this evening’s conversation. “In How to be Animal, Melanie Challenger offers a poetic and erudite meditation on the relationship of our species to the rest of the organic world, and especially to the species to which we are most closely related. Her compelling argument against human exceptionalism synthesizes the insights of scientists and philosophers from many times and places, and uses them, along with reflections on her own experiences, to analyze some of the most troublesome current political issues. She is particularly aware of the human desire for firm boundaries—between ourselves and other species, for example, or between our bodies and our minds–and she therefore stresses the elusiveness of such boundaries and the potentially devastating effects of our pursuit of them.” —Harriet Rivto. “This is a frightening and fascinating masterpiece of science reporting that reads like a detective story. David Quammen takes us on a quest to understand AIDS, Ebola, and other diseases that share a frightening commonality: they all jumped from wild animals to humans. By explaining this growing trend, Quammen not only provides a warning about the diseases we will face in the future, he also causes us to reflect on our place as humans in the earth’s ecosystem.” - Walter Isaacson.   Event Registration  
 

03/31/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Hannah Kirshner with John Maeda and Lori Matsukawa
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
A book we first learned of months ago when places distant and beyond our own four walls seemed unfathomable, Hannah Kirshner’s captivating Water, Wood, and Wild Things: Learning Craft and Cultivation in a Japanese Mountain Town (Viking) will engage the reader whether or not such travels do materialize. Hannah Kirshner, a writer, artist, and food stylist, grew up on a farm outside Seattle, went east (within the U.S.), then, at a pivotal juncture, received an invitation to apprentice with a ‘“sake evangelist” in a misty Japanese village.’ Thus one life became something quite different - all of this written with grace and insight in this beautiful book. “In Kirshner’s explorations and excavations, we navigate the pulls of place and identity—Water, Wood, and Wild Things settles us into Yamanaka, and alongside the folks who live there. Kirshner is both participant and observer, humbly and tactfully weaving a portrait of a history, its mores, and how they’ve changed. But, above all, she listens—allowing the community to tell their story, and allowing us to view the tapestry she’s painted alongside them. Water, Wood, and Wild Things is a trove and a boon—we can’t help but feel grateful that Kirshner brought us along for the journey.”—Bryan Washington. “Kirshner’s beautifully illustrated and worded depiction of Japanese craft is artfully grounded in nature’s four seasons alongside meticulous food preparation rituals. With each turn of the page, you can almost hear Kirshner sliding open yet another wooden paneled door to reveal a shokunin who refuses to let their craft fade. Water, Wood, and Wild Things wonderfully brings a myriad of haptic, visual, and aromatic taste sensations of Japan that individually tantalize within a perfect dashi broth of storytelling.”—John Maeda. That very same John Maeda, the Seattle author of The Laws of Simplicity and Redesigning Leadership, among other works, and Lori Matsukawa, the Emmy Award-winning former news anchor at KING-TV, will join in this evening’s conversation.  Co-presented by the Friends of Asian Art Association.   Event Registration  
 

03/31/2021 - 7:30pm

Virtually Hosted by Town Hall Seattle
Kerry Killinger & Linda Killinger
Virtually Hosted by Town Hall Seattle
In 2008, the American economy collapsed, taking with it millions of Americans’ jobs, homes, and life savings. The ensuing financial crisis was devastating, and many are still feeling its effects today. But despite the crisis, the US government has yet to implement policies that would prevent a repeat of the Great Recession. Why is that? Kerry Killinger, the former CEO of Washington Mutual Bank, and Linda Killinger, the former vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, join us via livestream with a critical analysis of the actions that led to the financial crisis—and to sound the alarm about how we may be on track to repeat our same mistakes. With insight from their book Nothing Is Too Big to Fail: How the Last Financial Crisis Informs Today—all proceeds of which will be donated to charity—they hold a microscope to the very policies and corruption that led to the major economic recession. By exploring the shrinking middle class, escalations in racial injustice, and current fiscal policies, they argue that our economy is in a fragile place, barely strong enough to survive a shock caused by an international conflict, cyberattack, or global pandemic. But they believe no institution, government, or country is “too big to fail,” and that we can learn from our past mistakes and take action to return our country’s economic system—and democracy—to one that is secure. Kerry Killinger was the chairman, president, and CEO of Washington Mutual Bank. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a fellow in the Life Management Institute. He was chair of the National Education summit of Achieve and American Banker’s Banker of the year, received President George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light Award for his philanthropy, was vice chair and chair-elect of the Financial Services Roundtable, vice chair and chair-elect of the Federal Reserve’s Thrift Industry Advisory Council, and was vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. He was elected to the American Society of Corporate Executives. He is currently the CEO of Crescent Capital. Linda Killinger was vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and chair of its audit/finance committee. She was also a consulting partner in an international accounting firm specializing in strategic planning and merger/acquisitions for financial institutions. She was the publisher and editor of Overseas Business magazine. Prior to that she was appointed by Governor Robert D. Ray as the director of administration for the Iowa Department of Human Services, which included the prison system, mental health hospitals, AFDC and other human service programs. She was appointed by Governor Tom Vilsack to chair his Committee for a Comprehensive Housing Strategy for Iowa. She currently is the CEO of Olympic Consulting. In 2002, Linda and Kerry founded the Kerry and Linda Killinger Foundation which has the mission of public policy reform and social and racial justice, building community and access to the arts.   Event Registration  
 
 
 
 
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