Popular Reading Series Moves to a New High-Ambiance Venue: The National Hotel | TheUnion.com

Popular Reading Series Moves to a New High-Ambiance Venue: The National Hotel

Nevada City local Josh Weil has a new collection of short stories called "The Age of Perpetual Light," that cover a wide variety of genres from fables to sci-fi.
Submitted photo to Prospector |

Returning from summer hiatus, the popular reading series Yuba Lit will present three masterful short story writers Thursday, Sept. 14, at Nevada City’s National Hotel.

The lively evening, which begins at 7 p.m., is a chance to hear three acclaimed literary artists read their work and candidly discuss their process in the intimate, high-ambiance setting of the National Hotel’s dining room.

Two of the writers featured on “Yuba Lit: The Art of the Short Story” are local writers with national reputations.

Nevada City resident Josh Weil won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for his novel “The Great Glass Sea,” and is well known within literary circles for his collection of novellas, “The New Valley.”

His just-released collection of short stories is “The Age of Perpetual Light.”

Kirkus Reviews described The Age of Perpetual Light as, “A rich, often dazzling collection of short stories linked by themes while ranging widely in style from Babel-like fables to gritty noir and sci-fi” and proclaimed “Weil’s stories are engrossing, persuasively detailed, and written with a deep affection for the way language can, in masterful hands, convey us to marvelous new worlds.”

Also a local luminary, Nevada City’s Louis B. Jones is the author of four novels, including three New York Times Notable books.

His latest release is a story in “ZYZZYVA,” the prestigious journal for West Coast writing.

Jones is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and co-directs the fiction program at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Part of Yuba Lit’s mission is to introduce voices from Sacramento, San Francisco, and beyond to the Grass Valley/Nevada City area, and the series is thrilled to bring Bay Area writer Marilyn Abildskov as a featured reader for “The Art of the Short Story.”

A professor of creative writing at St. Mary’s College, Abildskov is the author of a memoir set in Japan, “The Men in My Country,” and her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in The Sun, AGNI, and many other top journals.

Her work has been shortlisted many times for Best American Essays, and she is a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Writers Award.

“I couldn’t be more excited to present these three extraordinarily skilled and humane story writers,” said memoirist and fiction writer Rachel Howard, the founder and presenter of Yuba Lit. “I think it’s a special opportunity to hear them in the cozy, storied atmosphere of the National’s dining room. The best aspect of Yuba Lit, to me, is the chance for our audience to make connections and build up the local literature-loving community. Our area is such a home to writers and book lovers.”

In addition to Yuba Lit’s three featured readers, audience members are invited to bring a page or a poem for the opening “flash readings.”

Any audience member who brings a poem or a page will be given a raffle ticket; five readers will be drawn from the raffle, and given the mic for three minutes to read their work. “The opening flash readings are always a highlight of Yuba Lit,” Howard said.

Doors will open at 6:45 p.m., with a no-host bar open before the reading and during intermission.

Fifty percent of the $10 cover (no one turned away for lack of funds) will benefit PEN America, an organization supporting authors and freedom of expression.

The other fifty percent supports basic operating costs of Yuba Lit.

The cover is payable by cash or check at the door, but reservations are appreciated. Audience members can reserve their general seating ticket by emailing yubalit@gmail.com with their name and number of guests.

Yuba Lit’s website is http://www.yubalit.org. The series also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/yubalit.

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