‘Writers who face the world with humor and heart’: Yuba Lit presents an evening with authors | TheUnion.com

‘Writers who face the world with humor and heart’: Yuba Lit presents an evening with authors


WHO: Yuba Lit

WHAT: Three Fearless (and Funny) Spirits: Writers Who Face the World with Humor and Heart

WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill St., Grass Valley

TICKETS: $8 advance tickets, available soon, or $10 at the door. Cabaret-style seating; delicious dinner and drink options available.

MORE INFO: http://www.yubalit.org and http://www.facebook.com/yubalit

The live literary reading series Yuba Lit is thrilled to present “Three Fearless (and Funny) Spirits: Writers Who Face the World with Humor and Heart” 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Wild Eye Pub. Two of the fiction writers appearing have just been nominated for prestigious PEN America Literary Awards: Tomas Moniz, for his novel “Big Familia,” and Nancy Au, for her collection “Spider Love Song and Other Stories.” The third reader, beloved Sierra College writing instructor Judie Rae, recently released her novel, “The Haunting of Walter Rabinowitz.”

“I love this slate of writers because I think everyone in America could use a laugh right now,” says Yuba Lit founder and producer Rachel Howard. “These writers’ pages are gutsy, unashamed, and utterly unpredictable. The stories are lively and unpretentious, but at the same time this is big-hearted and deeply artful writing, which I think Tomas and Nancy’s prestigious PEN nominations reflect. I just feel lucky that we booked Tomas and Nancy for Yuba Lit before the word got out nationally about their books!”

Moniz’s new novel, “Big Familia,” is the sweet and heartwarming story of Juan Gutierrez, a single dad living in gentrifying Berkeley (on the edge of Oakland), letting go of his teenage daughter while wrangling with commitment fears and trying to open himself up to a man who loves him. Moniz, who lives in Berkeley, frequently visits Nevada City because his mother, Barbara Jenness, owns the Wheyward Girl Creamery. He edited the anthology “Rad Dad, Rad Families” and has published short works in Barrelhouse and Longleaf Review.

Ecstatic early reviews for Moniz’s book have noted the novel’s refreshing defiance of all stereotypes. A starred Kirkus review said, “With his first novel, poet Moniz tells a story that is simultaneously timeless and quite timely … None of these characters exist solely — or primarily — as a portrait of ‘difference’ because white and straight aren’t default categories here …Diverse characters and a deeply likable protagonist make this a standout debut.”

Kirkus also awarded Au’s story collection a starred review, calling “Spider Love Song and Other Stories” “an original and delightfully off-kilter debut collection about searching for a sense of belonging … Set mostly in Chinese American communities in California, some of Au’s stories explore the cost of immigration and its toll on families … Only a writer who knows how closely bound are heartbreak and resilience could write stories as emotionally stirring as these.”

Au’s essays and stories have appeared in many journals including Craft Literary, Redivider, Gulf Coast, Catapult, Foglifter and Michigan Quarterly Review. She is co-founder of The Escapery, a writing and art unschool.

Judie Rae is well known on the Gold Country writing scene. Her novel “The Haunting of Walter Rabinowitz” tells the story of a post-grad student exacting revenge on her notoriously womanizing professor. Judie is the author of four books for young people, including a Nancy Drew Mystery. She also authored a college thematic reader, Rites of Passage, and two poetry chapbooks, “The Weight of Roses” and “Howling Down the Moon.” Her essays have appeared in The Sacramento Bee, as well as on San Francisco’s NPR station KQED. She has also written for Outside California, Tahoe Quarterly and Sacramento Magazine.

The night will open with Yuba Lit’s lively audience flash reading tradition. Attendees who write are encouraged to bring a poem or page of their own for a chance to read it live onstage.

Bring your appetite, too, to order dinner and drinks from the Wild Eye Pub for this cabaret-style event. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and program starts at 7 p.m. The Wild Eye Pub is located at 535 Mill St. in Grass Valley. Admission is $8 in advance, with tickets available at http://www.wildeyepub.com, or $10 at the door. Students are welcome to attend for free, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Yuba Lit is a fiscally sponsored project of the Nevada County Arts Council, a not-for-profit organization. The series is also grateful to Harmony Books for selling copies of our authors’ books at the event. Yuba Lit’s website is http://www.yubalit.org.

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