I am excited to be among 15 Bay Area writers included in Play on Words show, on the theme of New Terrains. Original prose, poetry, and theater will be performed by local actors on 2/24, at San Jose Museum of Art.
The award winning literary series Why There Are Words has recently celebrated its ninth anniversary. Founded by Peg Alford Pursell, it hosts monthly readings in Sausalito, and regular events in New York, Los Angeles, and five additional cities in the U.S.
I am looking forward to reading on the theme of "Somewhere Else", alongside Anita Felicelli, Julayne Lee, Micah Perks, Robert Rorke, and Christy Stillwell. Please join us if you can!
It has been a great year for new books from the space of my old country, and I've been excited to write about it for The Millions. The three books I've reviewed range from a literary journey of master novelist Dubravka Ugresic, to the family sagas of first-time authors Sofija Stefanovic and Tania Romanov.
Romanov's and Stefanovic's books are originally written in English, but Ugresic's is not. My summer trip to Belgrade was a good opportunity to purchase a local edition of Fox and revisit Ugresic's brilliant prose in the original language.
In Belgrade bookstores, it was also great to see a new edition of Goran Petrovic's Sitničarnica „Kod srećne ruke“, one of my favorite novels in contemporary Serbian literature. While the book hasn't been published in English yet (and I hope this changes soon), some excerpts have appeared in translation (e.g. in New England Review).
Goran Petrovic's new short story collection Unutrašnje dvorište is highly anticipated later this year. The title story is available in Serbian, via literary magazine Polja, and the English translation can be found in Best European Fiction 2018.
I was honored to participate in Story Is The Thing, a quarterly reading series at Kepler's Books. In a vibrant, dynamic format, this event presents seven Bay Area authors, from emerging voices to established masters.
The theme of the February 22 event was "Everything", inspired by an excerpt from Arundhati Roy's novel "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness."
“How to tell a shattered story? By slowly becoming everybody. No. By slowly becoming everything.”
The evening was opened by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, who talked about personal stories that led to her book "Muslim Next Door", an engaging, accessible introduction to Islam.
Vanessa Hua followed with a reading from her riveting collection "Deceit and Other Possibilities", based on her immigrant family heritage.
I read the opening of my recently published short story "The Addition", drawn from my memories of Bosnian refugees in Serbia, in the 1990s.
Kate Petersen talked about finding inspiration in teaching at Stanford, about surprising gems that emerged from discussions on her students' problem sets.
Anne Raeff's new novel "Winter Kept Us Warm" brought back the theme of family heritage, from post-war Berlin to contemporary Morocco.
Kaitlin Solimine introduced the theme of inherited manuscripts, with an excerpt from her novel "Empire of Glass". The novel is narrated in an experimental format of the original Chinese manuscript, interwoven with footnotes from the translator. Vanessa Hua added a dimension to this inventive presentation by reading notes from the translator.
Alia Volz followed with her latest essay, also based on an inherited manuscript - a fascinating ghost story.
The evening was closed by the host Aggie Zivaljevic, who reminded us of Muriel Rukeyser's quote:
"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."