Val Brelinski’s debut novel is The Girl Who Slept with God. Brelinski was born and raised in Nampa, Idaho, the daughter of devout evangelical Christians. From 2003 to 2005, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she was also a Jones Lecturer in fiction writing. She received an MFA from the University of Virginia, and her recent writing has been featured in Vogue, MORE, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Rumpus. She received prizes for her fiction from the San Francisco Chronicle, The Charlottesville Weekly, and The Boise Weekly, and was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Brelinski lives in Northern California and currently teaches creative writing at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. (Photo: Tim Brelinski and Max Boyd).
Christine Hance will read an excerpt from The Girl Who Slept with God by Val Brelinski. Hance relocated to Davis with her husband, David, from San Luis Obispo two-and-a-half years ago, to be closer to extended family. Having always considered herself more a singer than an actor, she began her venture into theater with a production of the musical Oliver! Faced with the dilemma of transporting her daughter to and from rehearsals and performances in the summer of 1984, she asked the director to consider adding her to the musical’s chorus, so she’d have something to do while she waited. Since that summer, Hance has continued to perform regularly with several community theaters in straight plays and musicals, and with Tin Pan Alley, a cabaret group she co-founded, singing the American Songbook, especially songs written by Harold Arlen and Stephen Sondheim—songs that tell stories, songs that paint pictures. This short excerpt from The Girl Who Slept with God made Hance want to read the rest of the book. She hopes you will want to read it, too.
Sandra Hunter’s fiction has been published in a number of literary magazines and received the 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, October 2014 Africa Book Club Award, 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, 2012 Cobalt Fiction Prize, and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her debut novel, Losing Touch, was released in July 2014 (OneWorld Publications). When she’s not working on her second novel, The Geography of Kitchen Tables, she teaches English and creative writing at Moorpark College and runs writing workshops in Ventura and Los Angeles. Favorite dessert: rose-flavored macarons.
Rob Salas will read “Against the Stranger” by Sandra Hunter. Salas is a founding Artistic Director of Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, where he has acted and directed in productions since 2010. Favorite roles for DSE include Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Orpheus in Relapse. Other acting credits include Dramatic Adventure Theater (NYC), New Village Arts (San Diego), Harvard University, and UC Irvine. While establishing the Ensemble, Salas received his MFA in Directing from UC Irvine. He has assistant directed at many prestigious theaters, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, American Repertory Theater, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Salas received his BA in English and Dramatic Art at Harvard University.