Start: 7:00 pm
Essayist, fiction writer and University of Washington professor David Shields makes a welcome return with his newest, and perhaps most expansive work yet, How Literature Saved My Life (Knopf). "A powerful, gripping meditation on reading (and writing) as the sole bulwark between us and despair." - Peter Brooks. "Shields is the Raskolnikov, or maybe Rumplestiltskin, of American nonfiction. This restless, economical work threads a path between irony and sincerity, postmodernism and confessional nakedness. He's fierce and interesting about contemporary writing and hit it fits in with, attacks, negotiates the new reality ... He is never boring." - Tony Hoagland.
Start: 7:30 pm
Presented by the Richard Hugo House. Sam Lipsyte reads from his brand-new collection of short stories, The Fun Parts (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) which includes a story originally commissioned for Hugo House's Literary Series. The Fun Parts is a book of bold, hilarious, and deeply felt fiction. A boy eats his way to self-discovery while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Meanwhile, an aerobics instructor, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, makes the most shocking leap imaginable to save her soul. These are just a few of the stories, some first published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, or Playboy, that unfold in Lipsyte's richly imagined world. Combining both the tragicomic dazzle of his beloved novels and the compressed vitality of his classic debut collection, The Fun Parts is Lipsyte at his bestan exploration of new voices and vistas from a writer Time magazine has said "everyone should read." Local writer Ryan Boudinot, author of Blueprints of the Afterlife, hosts and moderates a Q&A with Lipsyte following the reading. Books are for sale by Elliott Bay Book Company, and Hugo House's bar is open serving beer, wine, and cocktails. Tickets ($5) available at www.hugohouse.org and at the door. The Richard Hugo House is located at 1634 11th Avenue, just North of Pine St. on Capitol Hill. More about their projects, classes and events at www.hugohouse.org.