Tenderness: Donika Kelly, Brandon Taylor, and Kirstin Valdez Quade
Portland Book Festival virtual events, presented by Bank of America, will feature variety-show style interviews. Each night, three authors whose work shares thematic connections will join remotely, and interviewers will be broadcasting live from Portland literary locations. The audience will be tuning in via our custom streaming platform, PDXBookFest.org. Get your virtual festival pass here!
Opening night, we’ll be live from Literary Arts. The evening will feature the theme “Tenderness,” with:
poet Donika Kelly discusses her new collection, The Renunciations, with Christopher Rose
Kirstin Valdez Quade shares her debut novel The Five Wounds with Portland Monthly’s Fiona McCann
Brandon Taylor in conversation about his best-selling story collection Filthy Animals with Genevieve Hudson
This year’s VIRTUAL Festival programming is presented by Bank of America. From November 8–12, Portland Book Festival will feature authors in a variety of virtual events, from live-streamed discussions to podcast and radio broadcasts. Access to the Festival’s virtual platform will be via a sliding scale ($0–$100) pass; one pass includes access to all five days of virtual events. Get your pass here.
More about tonight’s authors and their books:
Donika Kelly’s The Renunciations is a book of resilience, survival, and the journey to radically shift one’s sense of self in the face of trauma. These poems construct life rafts and sanctuaries even in their most devastating confrontations with what a person can bear, with how families harm themselves. With the companionship of “the oracle”—an observer of memory who knows how each close call with oblivion ends—the act of remembrance becomes curative, and personal mythologies give way to a future defined less by wounds than by possibility. In this gorgeous and heartrending second collection, we find the home one builds inside oneself after reckoning with a legacy of trauma—a home whose construction starts “with a razing.”
“[The Renunciations] is a lionhearted odyssey through the self, a casting aside of old mythologies and traumas in search of new stories fashioned from love and joy. . . . Like some sort of oracle, Kelly offers us the words to create our own destinies.”
From Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of the award-winning story collection Night at the Fiestas, The FiveWounds is a stunning debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice. It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path. Vivid, tender, funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby’s first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge.
“Masterly… Quade has created a world bristling with compassion and humanity. The characters and the challenges they face are wholly realized and moving; their journeys span a wide spectrum of emotion and it is impossible not to root for [them].”
—Alexandra Chang , New York Times Book Review
Brandon Taylor has been hailed by Roxane Gay as “a writer who wields his craft in absolutely unforgettable ways.” With Filthy Animals he renews and expands on the promise made in his debut novel, Real Life (finalist for the Booker Prize), training his precise and unsentimental gaze on the tensions among friends and family, lovers and others. Psychologically taut and quietly devastating, Filthy Animals is a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems, more often than not, to withhold it.
“Lumious. . . . tap[s] into the peculiar, primal struggle of becoming who you are, and all the stories you have to tell yourself to get there.”
Order The Renunciations: Annie Bloom's | Broadway | Powell's
Order The Five Wounds: Annie Bloom's | Broadway | Powell's
Order Filthy Animals: Annie Bloom's | Broadway | Powell's
Originally from Alabama, Genevieve Hudson earned an MFA from Portland State University and has received Fulbright, MacDowell, and Vermont Studio Center fellowships. She is the author of Pretend We Live Here: Stories, and lives in Portland, Oregon. Boys of Alabama is her debut novel.