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Finding Home: Fiction of Place

Sat, Nov 9, 2019 from 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
1119 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

Three books that create complex, irresistible portraits of their settings: Florida; Denver; a hair salon. In Kristen Arnett’s novel Mostly Dead Things, the humidity, insects, and downright weirdness of Florida pervade a story of dysfunctional families, art, death, and life. Entertainment Weekly declared “Mostly Dead Things is the lesbian Florida taxidermy family novel you never knew you needed.” Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s story collection Sabrina & Corina breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—where her women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force. Ebony Flowers’s debut comic collection, Hot Comb, offers a poignant glimpse into Black women’s lives and coming of age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through Flowers’ stories and ads, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking. Moderated by Stephen Hiltner of The New York Times.

Advance Portland Book Festival passes available now.

Kristen Arnett

Kristen Arnett is a queer fiction and essay writer. She won the 2017 Coil Book Award for her debut short fiction collection, Felt in the Jaw, and was awarded Ninth Letter's 2015 Literary Award in Fiction. She's a columnist for Literary Hub and her work has either appeared or is upcoming at North American ReviewThe Normal SchoolGulf CoastTriQuarterlyGuernicaElectric LiteratureVolume 1 BrooklynBennington ReviewTin House Flash Fridays/The GuardianSalonThe Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her debut novel is Mostly Dead Things. Also appearing at Festival partner events:

Northwest Film Center Presents: Film to Page

Friday, November 8 Venue: Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum 7:00 p.m.

FREE with a PBF wristband! $8 general admission. Tickets here.

Live Wire with Luke Burbank featuring Portland Book Festival authors Kristen Arnett, Casey Cep, and Saeed Jones!

Sunday, November 10 Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre Doors: 11:30am / Show: 12:00pm


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Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine is from Denver, Colorado. Her fiction has appeared in The American Scholar, Boston Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Idaho Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. Kali has received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, and Hedgebrook. She received her MFA from the University of Wyoming and has lived across the country, from Durango, Colorado, to Key West, Florida. 
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Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers was born and raised in Maryland. She holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic (mostly). Ebony is a 2017 Rona Jaffe Award recipient. She lives in Denver, CO. Hot Comb is her first collection of short stories.

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Stephen Hiltner

Stephen Hiltner is an editor on The New York Times’s Travel desk. He was previously a reporter and photographer for the Surfacing column, for which he wrote and illustrated a broad range of features — about subjects like British hill culture, aspiring classical musicians in the Bronx, a cloistered Catholic monastery, evolving trends in the hacking world, a Vietnamese enclave in New Orleans and 5-year-old race-car drivers, among many others. Stephen holds a graduate degree in English literature from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Virginia. Before joining The Times in 2016, he worked for six years as an editor at The Paris Review.
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