Thursday, July 28, 2011

Former Oregonian to Read Short Fiction Tonight

Joining us tonight is former Oregonian Diane Simmons, who will read from her recently published collection of short stories, Little America, which won the 2010 Ohio State University award for fiction.This book is for anyone who has ever considered just getting in the car and driving away. Here the ribbon of Western road is a metaphor for the heart's strange longings, providing hard, sometimes hilarious, lessons on the improbability of escape, the possibility of salvation, and the elusiveness of self-knowledge. With deadpan humor, perfect-pitch voice, and keen love of place, Simmons's stories illuminate the abiding American desire to "light out" -- if not necessarily for something better, at least for something new.

Simmons grew up on a farm in Eastern Oregon and worked as a newspaper reporter in Idaho, Alaska, and Washington before moving to New York. Currently she is a professor of English at The City University of New York. She has published two novels, one of which -- Dreams Like Thunder -- won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction in 1993. The novel is set in Eastern Oregon in the 1950s. Simmons has also written book-length critical studies of Jamaica Kincaid and Maxine Hong Kingston, as well as a study of narcissism in popular British Imperial writing.

Her short fiction has been published in Missouri Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Blood Orange Review, and Northwest Review. Simmons holds an MA in creative writing from The City College of New York and a PhD in English from The City University of New York Graduate Center.

We hope you can join us tonight to hear Ms. Simmons read from her new award-winning collection of short fiction. The fun starts at 7 pm!

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