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Saturday, October 28 • 11:30am - 12:15pm
Readings: Coming of Age

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Three debut novelists will read from their recently published works, all of which focus on the turbulence and transformation endemic to growing up and coming of age. In Cottonmouths, Kelly J. Ford’s protagonist has a bit rockier journey than most, contending with meth labs, intolerance, and unrequited love following a return to Arkansas after dropping out of college. The title character in Gabe Habash’s novel Stephen Florida is, if anything, too driven by his desire to become an NCAA wrestling champion during his senior year of college. Habash’s novel, according to the Atlantic, “captures how competitiveness and masculinity can unravel those who blindly follow its codes.” And Simeon Marsalis’s As Lie Is to Grin, which was recently shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, also uses college as the backdrop for his protagonist’s self-discovery, as he attempts to find his place at the largely white University of Vermont while immersing himself in black literary history. Our host for this session of fiction readings is Whitney Scharer, one of the curators of the Arlington Author Salon.

avatar for Whitney Scharer

Whitney Scharer

Whitney Scharer holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and her short fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and other journals. She is the recipient of an Emerging Artist Award in Literature from the St. Botolph Club Foundation... Read More →

avatar for Kelly J. Ford

Kelly J. Ford

Kelly J. Ford is the author of Cottonmouths, named one of 2017’s best books of the year by the Los Angeles Review. Her work has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and Knee-Jerk Magazine, and is forthcoming in Post Road Magazine. Kelly is an instructor for... Read More →
avatar for Gabe Habash

Gabe Habash

Gabe Habash’s debut novel, Stephen Florida, about a college wrestler (and unreliable narrator) in his final year of college, was called “not just one of the best novels of the year, it's one of the best sports books to come along in quite a while” by NPR. Habash holds an MFA... Read More →
avatar for Simeon Marsalis

Simeon Marsalis

As Lie Is to Grin is Simeon Marsalis’s debut novel, which has been longlisted for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. In 2013, Marsalis graduated from the University of Vermont, which is the setting for his story of self-discovery, as protagonist David struggles to find... Read More →

Saturday October 28, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm EDT
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