Straight, No Chaser: Writers at the Bar
Famed bohemian saloon Vesuvio Café once again opens its doors to Litquake for an edgy and hilarious North Beach reading. Featuring Rene Denfeld, Kwei Quartey, Karen Tei Yamashita, Mimi Lok, Tom Lanoye, and Caroline Louise Walker. Hosted by Alia Volz. A rare opportunity to glimpse authors performing new work in their natural habitat. Get here early, it fills up fast. FREE, $5 suggested donation
Tom Lanoye is an award-winning Belgian novelist, poet, and playwright. Starting out as a poet and critic, he became famous for his prose and drama, as well as his politically and socially engaged columns and his unique cabaret‐style performances. He is the author of more than fifty works of poetry, drama, and fiction, and his work has been translated into fifteen languages. His bestseller Speechless was awarded several major prizes and has been adapted for screen in 2017. Lanoye has won many literary awards, including the prestigious Constantijn Huygens Prize for his entire oeuvre. Slaves to Fortune was shortlisted for both the Libris Literature Prize and the AKO Literature Prize, and sold over 50,000 copies in the Netherlands. A born performer, when not on stage he lives between Antwerp and Cape Town.
Mimi Lok is the author of the story collection LAST OF HER NAME (Oct 2019, Kaya Press), which has been called “a mesmerizing debut that affirms all that is great about short fiction” (Dave Eggers), “poignant” (Gish Jen), and “darkly funny” (Rachel Khong). Mimi’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, Lucky Peach, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Fiction Award, and was a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize. She is also the director of Voice of Witness, a nonprofit that amplifies marginalized voices through its oral history book series and national education program.
Rene Denfeld is an award-winning author, journalist, and licensed private investigator living in Portland, Oregon. She is the bestselling author of The Child Finder and The Enchanted, which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel prixe and received the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger in France. She has written for many publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Oregonian.
Alia Volz is the author of HOME BAKED: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in spring 2020. You’ll find her work in The Best American Essays 2017, The New York Times, Tin House, and elsewhere. She’s a homegrown San Franciscan from weedy hippie stock.
Kwei Quartey is Ghanaian-American physician and author of the Inspector Darko Dawson series and the new Emma Djan, PI, series set in Ghana. He won a National Book Award for his first novel, Wife Of The Gods, which was also a Los Angeles Times Bestseller. Kwei lives in Pasadena, CA, but visits Ghana frequently to research material for his novels. He is an avid horse rider and blogs at kweiquartey.com and dowrite.org.
Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of Letters to Memory, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Brazil-Maru, Tropic of Orange, Circle K Cycles, I Hotel, and Anime Wong, all from Coffee House Press. I Hotel was a finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the California Book Award, the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award, and the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. She has been a US Artists Ford Foundation Fellow and co-holder of the University of California Presidential Chair for Feminist & Critical Race & Ethnic Studies. She is currently Professor Emeritus of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Caroline Louise Walker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois. For her fiction and nonfiction, she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Kerouac Project, Hambidge, and Jentel Arts. She holds an MA from NYU. Man of the Year is her first novel.