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Live Through This: Heartbreak, Hope, & Humor

Sat, Nov 9, 2019 from 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm PST
1111 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97205

These three books at once tender and unsentimental, heartbreaking and humorous. Exploring grief, love, and identity, you’ll cry till you laugh and laugh till you cry. Kristen Arnett’s debut novel, Mostly Dead Things, finds Jessa grieving for her father while trying to keep the family taxidermy business afloat, trying to figure out how she fits in with her family. Profound and deceptively funny, Morgan Parker’s Magical Negro is an archive of everyday Blackness, exploring the troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans and connecting themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification. Kimberly King Parsons’s debut story collection Black Light, longlisted for the National Book Award, explores the darkest hollows of desire, from first love to addiction. Moderated by Megan Labrise of Kirkus Reviews.

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.
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Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker is the author of the poetry collections Magical NegroThere Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night. Her debut YA novel Who Put This Song On? will be published in Fall 2019 from Delacorte Press, and her debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World/Random House. Park3er is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets with Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Kimberly King Parsons

Kimberly King Parsons is the author of the debut collection Black Light (Vintage), which was longlisted for both the 2019 National Book Award and the 2019 Story Prize, and was a finalist for the 2020 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, the 2020 Texas Institute of Letters Best Work of First Fiction Award, and the 2020 Oregon Book Award. Her story “Foxes” was among the trio that won The Paris Review 2020 National Magazine Award for Fiction from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Parsons is a recipient of fellowships from Columbia University, Yaddo, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation; her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, Best Small Fictions 2017, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She lives with her partner and sons in Portland, where she is completing a novel (forthcoming from Knopf) about Texas, motherhood, and LSD.
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Megan Labrise

Megan Labrise is the editor-at-large of Kirkus Reviews. She hosts the weekly podcast Fully Booked, writes the biweekly column “Field Notes,” and interviews hundreds of authors each year. In 2015 she judged the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, one of richest literary awards in the world, with author Colson Whitehead and bookseller Nicole Magistro. She is a graduate of Reed College and NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, a former newspaper reporter, and a food writer. Her work has appeared in Edible Hudson Valley, Epicurious, Gourmet Live, Guernica Daily, Salon, and other publications. She lives in Portland.
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