The UCSC Literature Department and Creative Writing Program Present: LIVING WRITERS SERIES WINTER 2022 "Change Me: Stories of Radical Transformation." Sponsored by The Puknat Literary Endowment, The Porter Hitchcock Poetry Fund, The Laurie Sain Endowment, The Humanities Institute, and Bookshop Santa Cruz.
January 27th: Karen Tei Yamashita & Eric C. Wat
Karen Tei Yamashita is an award-winning writer who was born in Oakland, California. For many years she was Professor of Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her works, several of which contain elements of magic realism, include novels I Hotel (2010), Circle K Cycles (2001), Tropic of Orange (1997), Brazil-Maru (1992), and Through the Arc of the Rain Forest (1990). Yamashita’s novels emphasize the necessity of polyglot, multicultural communities in an increasingly globalized age, even as they destabilize orthodox notions of borders and national/ethnic identity. She has also written a number of plays, including Hannah Kusoh, Noh Bozos and O-Men which was produced by the Asian American theatre group, East West Players. Her most recent book is the story collection, Sansei and Sensibility (2020). Karen Tei Yamashita: The Complete Works is now available from Coffeehouse Press. In 2021, Yamashita was named the recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Eric Wat’s first book, The Making of a Gay Asian Community (2002), has been described as a “foundational text in queer Asian American historiography.” Almost twenty years later, he wrote a follow-up about AIDS activism in the Asian American community, Love Your Asian Body (2021). But his first love was fiction. In 2016, after his grandmother passed away, he quit the best job in the world to write his novel, Swim (2019). He wrote Swim for queer folks whose main concern in life isn’t coming out, for people who are dealing with addiction (or know loved ones who are), and for adult children who are struggling to take care of their aging parents (and in so doing are confronted by their imperfect relationships). Wat lives and writes in Los Angeles.
The Living Writers Series runs on select Thursdays from 5:20-6:55p.m.