ZYZZYVA EventsAugust 19, 2015
In Conversation with Adam Johnson
Location: 7:30 p.m., Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.
Description: ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar Villalon talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson about his new book, the story collection "Fortune Smiles." Part of the Peninsula Arts & Letters series. Tickets and more info at http://bit.ly/1OdYSkcSeptember 18, 2015
Fall Issue Celebration
Location: 7 p.m., Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Ave., Oakland.
Description: An evening of readings from Issue No. 104 contributors, including Caille Millner, Mauro Javier Cardenas, Molly Spencer and Joseph Di Prisco. And featuring past contributor and special guest Kathleen Alcott, author of "Infinite Home." Free.October 19, 2015
In Conversation with John Freeman
Location: 7 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
Description: Managing Editor Oscar Villalon talks to author and ZYZZYVA contributing editor John Freeman about the launch of his new literary journal, Freeman's. Free. For more info: http://bit.ly/1Oe2rH1
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Tag Archives: Texas
In her 1985 book, Desert Passages: Encounters with the American Deserts, historian Patricia Nelson Limerick pondered the reactions to the desert from people such as Mark Twain, explorer and surveyor John C. Frémont, irrigation promoter William Ellsworth Smythe, and art historian John Van Dyke. In her introduction she writes, “While the actual landscape is of considerable importance in this story, the intellectual focus rests on the different appearance and meaning available to different viewers.” That passage could describe the running theme of Rubén Martínez’s riveting new book, Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West (Metropolitan Books). “The …Continue reading
Dagoberto Gilb is the author of six books, most recently the story collection Before the End, After the Beginning (Grove). The recipient of many awards and fellowships, he is the executive director of Centro Victoria: Center for Mexican American Literature and Culture.
Gilb’s literary essay, “A Little Bit of Fun Before He Died,” which appears in ZYZZYVA’s Fall issue, is both a meditation on his relationship with the late writer Bill Ripley (“my first fiction-writer role model”) and on the vagaries of life—the writing life, in particular. Ripley gained some renown because of the Sheryl Crow song “All I Wanna Do,” which was based on a poem about him. The essay examines Ripley’s intoxicated misadventures even as it details Gilb’s understanding of himself as a writer, one who doesn’t come from a world of privilege and its received notions of what the writing life is. “I knew nothing about creative writing,” he states early on. “What I knew of the contemporary writing business came out of a used copy of Writer’s Market.”
The following is an excerpt from “A Little Bit of Fun Before He Died.”