Ever wondered about my thoughts on religion, AA, and the Midwest? Okay, maybe you haven’t — but tune in to the latest episode of Otherppl with Brad Listi, my favorite literary podcast, to hear me ramble about all of those topics and more! I’ve listened to so many authors I admire on Otherppl, so it was an honor and a treat to get to be part of the podcast myself — And I talked about a lot of things I don’t usually talk about. Religion, AA, and the Midwest are three of these topics, but the episode also has interludes about boarding school, not being vegan, self-help books, and aimlessness. Give it a listen — and if you have thoughts or questions about it, drop me a line. Thanks to Brad for having me! If you’re not yet subscribed to Otherppl, subscribe now — More: 5 best literary podcasts in Los Angeles
The very last print issue of The Los Angeles Review came in the mail a few weeks ago — and in the back pages is a book review of Nadine Darling’s She Came From Beyond! written by yours truly — I’m so glad that The Los Angeles Review has now gone all digital (there’ll still be a best-of print annual), because that means the reviews get published in a more timely manner. Seriously — I turned in this review for LAR back in April 2016! More than a year later, it’s finally made its way into print — along with some other great reviews plus fiction and poetry. My favorite piece in this issue was a short fiction piece called “Stories About Men” by Rhian Sasseen: I shouldn’t have strayed–but then again, what is literature beyond the stories of cheating wives? When that man standing beside me at the birthday party shrugged and confided, “I don’t really understand what women see in men,” I had to show him. You can buy the last print issue of The Los Angeles Review online — and read and submit your work for future issues online.
Thank you to The Rumpus for interviewing me about Cake Time and writing! Here’s a quick excerpt from A Funny Inevitability: In Conversation with Siel Ju: Rumpus: You ended the novel on this note of uncertainty with the character in this common adult situation, with someone who doesn’t want to define the relationship. And your main character is suppressing an urge to laugh at life’s absurdity. How did you decide that was where you wanted to end the novel? Ju: I think I wanted to leave it like a continuing journey, because real life doesn’t have neat tied up ends. Chick lit generally ends with a happy ending of the girl gets the guy, so I wanted this book to be somewhat in contrast to that. I wanted the sense that she had learned something, but that there are other things that are not learnable in a way, because life isn’t over. Read the whole thing over at The Rumpus. Talking to Stephanie Siu was a blast — I wish I could have hung out with her while I was in New York last month. Follow her on Twitter at @openstephanie!
Thank you to Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn for hosting the Red Hen Press reading earlier this month — with a wine reception, no less! This gorgeous neighborhood bookstore was such a fun place to read — and it was an honor to get to read with two of my fellow Red Hen authors, Ellen Meeropol and Amy Hassinger. We had a mini Vermont Studio Center reunion at the bookstore. So great to see you Christina, Celeste, and Kiley (left to right)! Sara, whom I met at Tin House Winter Writing Workshop, was also there, as was my writing buddy Beth, who abandoned L.A. for Brooklyn a few months ago. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge the next morning — Then I got to visit my agent Peter Steinberg at the Foundry Literary + Media offices in NYC. He bikes in to work every day from Brooklyn! The reading with Celeste Gainey at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia was small and sweet. Thanks for hosting us at this cozy place! I stopped in New Jersey to see one more friend from Tin House, Ananda Lima, plus Alison, my college roommate! Then I flew to Toronto to visit another writing friend, Marilyn […]
It’s already summer — or at least it feels like it — and the summer reading lists are coming out! I’m overjoyed that Cake Time is on Newport Mercury’s list — Fictional encounters: 12 books to take you away this summer: Wendy Fontaine writes that “Ju’s writing is witty, blunt and entirely unsentimental, which makes this book a lot of fun to read.” Thanks Wendy! I’m honored to be in such great company — with Edan Lepucki (who blurbed Cake Time!), Elizabeth Strout, and George Saunders! If you add Cake Time to your own summer reading list, I’d love it if you reviewed it on Goodreads, Amazon, or on your own blog, like my friend Zandria did. Thanks Zandria! What else are you reading this summer?
The West Coast tour happened in April, but the East Coast mini Cake Time tour is still coming up! But first, I have one reading in Los Angels before flying east. I’ll be one of the guest readers at Lauren Eggert-Crowe’s Bitches of the Drought Chapbook Release Party. It’s free, it’ll be fun, and all sales of chapbooks will go to support progressive causes: Bitches of the Drought Chapbook Release Party Monday, June 5, 2017, 8 pm Stories Books and Cafe, 1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles Then I’ll be in Brooklyn, New York — where I’ll get to read with fellow Red Hen Press authors Ellen Meeropol and Amy Hassinger: An Evening with Red Hen Press (Facebook event page) Thu, June 8, 2017, 7:30 pm Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., Brooklyn Then I’ll be visiting Philadelphia for the first time, to read with poet Celeste Gainey: Siel Ju reads with Celeste Gainey (There will be cake!) Sunday, June 11, 2017, 2 pm Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Ln, Philadelphia I’d love to see you there! I’ll also be in Toronto mid-June visiting my writer friend Marilyn Duarte and doing tourist things and am planning a small meetup and […]