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Coming of Age: Finding Your Story

Sat, Nov 10, 2018 from 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm PST
1119 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

How do we form our identities in life and in our work? What does it mean to pursue the real thing and dedicate your life to it? What are the hazards of becoming who you are? The essays in How to Write an Autobiographical Novel follow Alexander Chee as he grows—from student to teacher, from reader to writer—and wrestles with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, a friend, questioning how we create ourselves in life and in art, and how to fight when our dearest truths are under attack. When Camas Davis found herself unhappy in work and love, she decided to start making her own story and she went to France and found herself immersed in the artisanal craft of whole-animal gastronomy and questioning everything she’d believed about life, death, and dinner in Killing It: An Education. The linked essays in Up Up, Down Down chronicle Cheston Knapp’s coming-of-age, however late onset as he explores formative experiences from his childhood to marriage as he asks big questions about identity, faith, and community. Moderated by Natalie Serber, author of Community Chest.

Advance 2018 Portland Book Festival passes available now.

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee is a novelist and essayist and an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at The Virginia Quarterly Review, and a critic at large at The Los Angeles Times. He has written the books How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, The Queen of the Night, and Edinburgh.

Purchase How to Write An Autobiographical novel from Annie Bloom’s Books, one of our Portland-based, independent bookstore partners HERE.

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Camas Davis

Camas Davis is a former editor and writer for magazines including Saveur and National Geographic Adventure. In 2009, she traveled to southwest France to study whole animal butchery and charcuterie and subsequently founded the Portland Meat Collective, a transparent, hands-on meat school that has become a local and national resource for meat education and reform. In 2014, Camas launched the Good Meat Project, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring responsible meat production and consumption through experiential education across the country. Camas and the Portland Meat Collective have been covered in media outlets such as the New York Times MagazineMartha Stewart LivingFood & WineBon Appetit, and Cooking Light. Her memoir is Killing It: An Education.
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Cheston Knapp

Cheston Knapp is the managing editor of Tin House magazine and executive director of the Tin House Summer Workshop. Up Up, Down Down is his first book. Visit him online at chestonknapp.com
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Natalie Serber

Natalie Serber is the author of a memoir, Community Chest, and a story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction has appeared in The Greensboro ReviewThe Bellingham ReviewGulf CoastInkwell, and elsewhere. Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesO, The Oprah MagazineThe Huffington Post and others. Natalie has been short listed in Best American Short Stories. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. Visit her online at natalieserber.com.
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