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Metropolis: The City in Literature

Sat, Nov 10, 2018 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST
1119 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

Often, the setting of the book can be as much a character as the people in it. In these three books, three very different cities—Bogota under Escobar’s reign, contemporary New York City, and Weimar-era Berlin—set the scene and help define the stories. Fruit of the Drunken Tree, the debut novel by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, presents the unlikely friendship between a young girl and a teenage maid in Colombia at the height of Pablo Escobar’s violent reign. The nine stories of Jamel Brinkley’s A Lucky Man, longlisted for the National Book Award, feature fathers and sons attempting to salvage relationships and confront their past mistakes as they live on the edges of Brooklyn and the Bronx. And Jason Lutes epic, twenty years in the making graphic novel trilogy concludes with Berlin, viewing the transformation of the city from a liberal metropolis to a fascist stronghold through the lives of ordinary people in the period between the two world wars. Moderated by Rob Spillman, author of All Tomorrow’s Parties.

Advance 2018 Portland Book Festival passes available now.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Guernica, and Huffington Post, among others. She has received fellowships and awards from The Missouri Review, Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is the book columnist for KQED Arts, the Bay Area's NPR affiliate. Her debut novel is Fruit of the Drunken Tree. Find her online at ingridrojascontreras.com
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Jamel Brinkley

Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man. His fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Best American Short Stories 2018A Public Space, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Epiphany, and LitMag. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His work has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Beginning this fall, he will be a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University. Find him online at jamelbrinkley.com.
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Jason Lutes

Jason Lutes was born in New Jersey in 1967 and grew up reading American superhero and Western comics. He is the creator of comic book series Berlin. In the late 1970s he discovered Heavy Metal magazine and the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, both of which proved major influences on his creative development. Lutes graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration, and in 1993 he began drawing a weekly comics page called Jar of Fools for Seattle’s The Stranger. Lutes lives in Vermont with his partner and two children, where he teaches comics at the Center for Cartoon Studies.
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Rob Spillman

Rob Spillman is editor of Tin House magazine. He was recently awarded the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing, as well as CLMP’s Energizer Award for Exceptional Acts of Literary Citizenship, and VIDA’s Vido Award. His writing has appeared in Boston ReviewGQ, The New York Times Book ReviewRolling StoneSports IllustratedVogue, and Worth, among others. His memoir, All Tomorrow’s Parties, was released by Grove Press in 2016, and he is currently a lecturer in Columbia University’s MFA graduate writing program. Visit Rob online at robspillman.com
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