Ali Eteraz

Ali Eteraz reads from his novel, Native Believer (published by Akashic Books), at City Lights. He is joined by Vanessa Hua.

Ali Eteraz’s much-anticipated debut  is the story of M., a supportive husband, adventureless dandy, lapsed believer, and second-generation immigrant who wants nothing more than to host parties and bring children into the world as full-fledged Americans. As M.’s world gradually fragments around him—a wife with a chronic illness; a best-friend stricken with grief; a boss jeopardizing a respectable career—M. spins out into the pulsating underbelly of Philadelphia, where he encounters others grappling with fallout from the War on Terror. Among the pornographers and converts to Islam, punks, and wrestlers, M. confronts his existential degradation and the life of a second-class citizen. 

Darkly comic, provocative, and insightful, Native Believer is a startling vision of the contemporary American experience and the human capacity to shape identity and belonging at all costs.

Ali Eteraz is based at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. He is the author of the coming-of-age memoir Children of Dust (HarperCollins) and the surrealist short story collection Falsipedies & Fibsiennes (Guernica Ed.). Eteraz’s short fiction has appeared in the Chicago Quarterly Review, storySouth, and Crossborder, and his nonfiction has been highlighted by NPR, The New York Times, and the Guardian. Recently, Eteraz received the 3 Quarks Daily Arts & Literature Prize judged by Mohsin Hamid, and served as a consultant to the artist Jenny Holzer on a permanent art installation in Qatar. Eteraz has lived in the Dominican Republic, Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, and Alabama. Native Believer is his debut novel.

Vanessa Hua is an award-winning writer and journalist. For nearly two decades, she has been writing about Asia and the diaspora. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award for Fiction, and is a past Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, FRONTLINE/World, Washington Post, Guernica, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. A former staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, she has filed stories from China, South Korea, Panama, Burma and Ecuador. Deceit and Other Possibilities, her debut story collection, will be published this fall (Willow Books).

Readings from Robert Antoni and Lucy Corin

Robert Antoni and Lucy Corin reading from their new works and discussing literature:

As Flies To Whatless Boys, by Robert Antoni, Akashic Books

One Hundred Apocalypses, by Lucy Corin, McSweeney’s Books

Co-sponsored by Akashic Books and McSweeney’s

As Flies To Whatless Boys: Tragedy and humor meet in an adventure-packed, historical novel about a British incursion into the island of Trinidad in 1845.

One Hundred Apocalypses: Lucy Corin’s dazzling new collection is powered by one hundred apocalypses: a series of short stories, many only a few lines, that illumintae moments of vexation and crisis, revelations and revolutions. At once mournful and explosively energetic, One Hundred Apocalypses makes manifest the troubled conscience of an uneasy time.

Robert Antoni is the author of the landmark novel Divina Trace, for which he received a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and an NEA grant. His other books include Blessed Is the Fruit, My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales, and Carnival. He was a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow (for his work on As Flies to Whatless Boys), and recently received the NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad & Tobago National Library. He now lives in Manhattan and teaches in the graduate writing program at the New School University. Visit: www.robertantoni.com/

Lucy Corin is a fiction writer whose work has appeared in journals including American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Conjunctions, and Tin House Magazine, and in anthologies such as Algonquin’s New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best (1997 and 2003), and The Iowa Anthology of Innovative Narrative. Her novel, Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls was published by FC2 in 2004. She was a Walter E. Dakin fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in 2006, and Margaret Bridgman Fellow at Bread Loaf in 2008. McSweeney’s Books published her short story collection The Entire Predicament in 2007. She’s a 2012 recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize. Ms. Corin is an Associate Professor of English at U.C. Davis. Visit: http://lucycorin.com