Featured Authors & Actors 6/8/19

About the Authors

shobha_raoShobha Rao moved to the United States from India at the age of seven. She is the author of the short story collection An Unrestored Woman and the novel Girls Burn Brighter. Rao is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction and is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Fellowship. Her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2015. Girls Burn Brighter has been longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and is a finalist for the California Book Award. She lives in San Francisco.


esme-wangEsmé Weijun Wang is the author of the New York Times-bestselling essay collection The Collected Schizophrenias and the novel The Border of Paradise, which was one of NPR’s Best Books of 2016. She received a 2018 Whiting Award, was named by Granta as one of the “Best of Young American Novelists” in 2017, and was the recipient of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize in 2016. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, Wang lives in San Francisco, and can be found at esmewang.com and on Twitter @esmewang.(Photo: Jacquelyn Tierney)


alyssa-buchthalAlyssa Buchthal will read an excerpt from Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao. Buchthal is a junior at UC Davis, double majoring in computer science and communication. In her free time, she has performed in several productions, including “Light Delay” with Ground and Field Theatre Festival, Dogfight with Studio 301, and The Tale of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon with the UC Davis Undergraduate Theatre Festival. Buchthal enjoys writing in her free time (both plays and prose), as well as assisting in producing the Ground and Field Theatre Festival, stage-managing with various companies, and being an officer on the UC Davis Dressage Team. Catch her this September as a member of the Ground and Field Ensemble on the UC Davis campus!

joy-dingJoy Ding will read “What Terrible Thing It Was” by Esmé Weijun Wang. Ding is a writer and performer engaged with issues of memory and the experience of Asian Americans in the US. She has recorded a number of short stories, including, most recently, Italo Calvino’s “Mushrooms in the City.” She also performed a staged reading of “Light Delay” for UC Davis’ 2018 Ground and Field Festival. Ding is currently adapting and rehearsing one of her own short stories – about a Chinese-American daughter and her mother – for a performance at the Manetti Shrem Museum on May 30th.



Featured Authors & Actors 10/8/16

Shobha RaoShobha Rao moved to the U.S. from India at the age of seven. She is the winner of the 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, awarded by Nimrod International Journal. She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and is the recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation fellowship. Her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories 2015. She lives in San Francisco.

Carmiel BanaskyCarmiel Banasky is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls “an intellectual tour de force.” Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Guardian, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR, among other places. She earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she also taught creative writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and other foundations. After four years on the road at writing residencies, she now teaches in Los Angeles. She is from Portland, Oregon.

Mariana SedaMariana Seda will read “An Unrestored Woman” by Shobha Rao. Hailing from the Midwest, she has a BA in literature with a minor in performing arts from Iowa State University. After moving to the Davis/Sacramento area six years ago, she has been involved with numerous theater companies and productions. Most recently she played Julia in Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Big Idea Theatre Company) and Nina in In The Heights (Green Valley Theatre Company). Other previous roles include Wendla in Spring Awakening (GVTC), Rachel Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (GVTC), Queen Anne/Catesby in Richard III (BIT), Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Iowa State University), Mama Rose in Gypsy (ISU), Cristina Kahlo in Frida (Teatro Espejo/Teatro Nagual), and Magenta in the Rocky Horror Picture Show (GVTC). In addition to performing, she also recently directed The Light in the Piazza (GVTC) and [title of show] (GVTC). Thanks to all involved in this great project!

Evan WhiteEvan White will read “The Late Music of Morton Howell” by Carmiel Banasky. White is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. Since 2011 he has read many original stories on programs on KDVS 90.3 FM, the UC Davis campus and community radio station. He has appeared as a reader at both the Poetry Night Reading Series and the Sacramento Poetry Center’s “Foam at the Mouth” reading series. As an undergraduate he co-founded Absurd Publications and published an anthology of poetry and short fiction, All the Vegetarians in Texas Have Been Shot, in addition to the creative journal The Oddity, of which there were seven issues. Currently he works as a graphic designer at UC Davis, and for the Sacramento-based literary magazine Under the Gum Tree.