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Reality Bites: Rafael Agustin & Chuck Klosterman

Sat, Nov 5, 2022 from 10:15 am - 11:15 am PDT
1119 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

General Admission Pass required for entry

Reckoning with the nineties, a decade not only back in fashion in a big way but which had political, social, and societal impacts that still ripple through our culture today. We’ll look at the the nineties from two very different perspectives: intensely personal, with Rafael Agustin’s memoir Illegally Yours; and from the stance of cultural criticism, with Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties. Moderated by Eden Dawn (The Portland Book of Dates).

When Rafael Agustin (Illegally Yours) tried to get his driver’s license during his junior year of high school, his parents were forced to reveal his immigration status. Suddenly, the kid who modeled his entire high school career after American TV shows had no idea what to do — there was no episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack gets deported! While his parents were relieved to no longer live a lie in front of their son, Rafa found himself completely unraveling in the face of his uncertain future.

From bestselling author Chuck Klosterman, The Nineties is a wise and funny reckoning with the decade that gave us slacker/grunge irony about the sin of trying too hard, during the greatest shift in human consciousness of any decade in American history. The 90s brought about a revolution in the human condition we’re still groping to understand.


Portland Book Festival General Admission Passes are required for entry into all events. Passes are $15 in advance and $25 day of Festival. Youth 17 & under, or with a valid high school ID get in FREE. All full-priced General Admission Passes include a $5 book fair voucher and entry into Portland Art Museum. Passes admit attendees to the Festival; individual events are first-come, first-served. More info here.

Rafael Agustin

Rafael Agustin was a writer on the award-winning The CW show Jane the Virgin. He is a Sundance Fellow for his TV family comedy Illegal, based on his life as a formerly undocumented American. Agustin co-created and co-starred in the national touring, award-winning autobiographical comedy N*gger Wetb*ck Ch*nk, which received acclaim from the LA Times, New York Times, and Denver Post, and won awards for its advancement of social justice in the arts. He serves as CEO of the Latino Film Institute (LFI), where he oversees the Youth Cinema Project, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), and LatinX in Animation. In 2018, LA Weekly named Agustin one of the fifty most essential people in Los Angeles. In 2021, Agustin was appointed to the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress. Agustin received his BA and MA from UCLA's School of Theater, Film & Television and is an alumnus of the CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase. His new memoir is called Illegally Yours.  
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Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of eight nonfiction books (including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa PuffsI Wear the Black HatBut What If We're Wrong?; and Killing Yourself to Live) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). He has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostGQEsquire, SpinThe GuardianThe BelieverBillboardThe A.V. Club, and ESPN. Klosterman served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine for three years, appeared as himself in the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and was an original founder of the website Grantland with Bill Simmons. His most recent book is Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction.

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Eden Dawn

EDEN DAWN is an award-winning writer, wardrobe stylist, and entrepreneur from Portland, Oregon. She's a beloved local personality, often seen performing at storytelling events, sitting on nonprofit advisory boards, chatting through live television segments, emceeing galas, and hosting her own quarterly series “Fashion in Film” at the historic Hollywood Theater.   Known well in the style community for her 11-year tenure as Oregon’s sole fashion editor for Portland Monthly magazine where she covered all facets of the field from hanging out in the glitter-filled closet of Darcelle, the world's oldest drag queen, to writing pieces on the mismanagement of pandemic unemployment funds for independent designers to styling hundreds of fancy looks in lauded photo editorials. She is the author of the best-selling Portland Book of Dates—a stylish, cheeky, curated guidebook of where the cool kids go, while educating readers on this treasured city. On the entrepreneurial front, she is the founder and operator of the activism-based nail polish company Claws Out where each color donates to a different progressive charity prompting Congresswoman Katie Porter to declare, “Claws Out represents the best of American small business.” The brand was tapped to create the first NBA polish for the Trailblazers and fabricated a custom color for the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign team.  When she’s not writing or running a growing business, she’s wardrobe styling projects like caftan fashion editorials for Elizabeth Dye or music videos for Portugal the Man and Laura Gibson. She is married to her frequent collaborator, creative director and illustrator Ashod Simonian. They live in a slightly creaky 100-year-old house in Portland's Alberta Arts District with their three fluffy cats: Ruby, Daphne, and Foxglove.
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