Siel Ju discusses and signs "Cake Time" with Brynn Saito and Andrew Lam
DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland welcomes Siel Ju to the store to discuss and sign her novel-in-stories, Cake Time on Friday, April 7th at 7:00 pm. Joining her in conversation will be fellow Red Hen Press poets, Brynn Saito and Andrew Lam, both finalists for California Book awards .
Daring yet aimless, smart but slightly strange, Cake Time's young female protagonist keeps making slippery choices, sliding into the dangerous space where curiosity melds with fear and desires turn into dirty messes. In How Not to Have an Abortion, the teenaged narrator looks for a ride from the clinic between her AP exams. In Easy Target, the now-college-grad agrees to go to a swingers party with a handsome stranger. A decade later, in Glow, she is suddenly confronted by the disturbing and thrilling fact of her lover's secret daughter. Ultimately, this unflinching novel-in-stories grapples with urgent, timeless questions: why intelligent girls make terrible choices, where to negotiate a private self in an increasingly public world, and how to love madly without losing a sense of self.
Siel Ju is a Korean-American writer who grew up in Kenya and now lives in Los Angeles. Her novel-in-stories, Cake Time, was the winner of the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: Feelings Are Chemicals in Transit and Might Club. Her stories and poems have appeard in ZYZZYVA, The Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), The Los Angeles Review, and Denver Quarterly, among others. She holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California and is the editor of Flash Flash Click, a weekly email lit zine for fast fiction.
Brynn Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press and finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award. Her work has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Pleiades. Brynn is the recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, the Poets 11 award from the San Francisco Public Library, and the Key West Literary Seminar's Scotti Merrill Memorial Award. Recently, Brynn served as the Kundiman Writer-in-Residence at Sierra Nevada College. Born and raised in Fresno, CA, Brynn currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Andrew Lam is the author of Birds of Paradise Lost, finalist for the California Book Award, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, which won the 2006 PEN Open Book Award, and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres. He was a regular commentator on NPR's All Things Considered for many years, and was the subject of a 2004 PBS documentary called My Journey Home. His essays have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Mother Jones, and The Nation, among many others. His short stories have been widely taught and anthologized. He lives in San Francisco.