Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vicki Forman & Victoria Patterson in Laguna

Laguna Beach Books hosts Vicki Forman and Victoria Patterson on Wednesday September 9 at 6 PM. The two writers have roots in Orange County. While Forman earned her MFA from UCI, Patterson (whose book is set in OC's coastal communities) earned her MFA in Riverside's program. These are fierce, smart writers - expect a powerhouse of a reading.
Vicki Forman's book, This Lovely Life is the winner of the Bakeless Prize. Here's a couple selections from much praise:

“Elle’s Lettres,” Readers Prize, August 2009:
"Forman’s account of giving birth to premature twins is stark, heartbreaking, and beautiful. Thrust into a role that on one expects to play, she becomes at once a parent, an expert in medical terminology, and a spectator to her own life. She invites us to witness as she wrestles with decisions that nobody should have to make, but does so with amazing poise and honestly."

Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten Year Nap and Surrender, Dorothy:
“It would be difficult not to be stirred by Vicki Forman’s story; but what makes This Lovely Life so good goes well past story and into idea, with which her book is so rich. The idea of love; of choice; of ambivalence; of imperfection; of purpose: these are all here, in a narrative that is propulsive, startling and vivid, like motherhood itself.”

Victoria Patterson's debut collection of short stories, Drift, is the book I have been waiting for someone to write - I am so glad she did. Some praise:
From Booklist:
"Set against the affluence of Newport Beach, Patterson’s debut collection often focuses on the enclaves’ outcasts--waitstaff, divorcĂ©es, alcoholics, and drug addicts--as her characters confront personal battles, the limits of friendship, and the bleary anticipation of a different way of life. In “Castaways,” a newly separated father resists coming to terms with his impending divorce, especially when it comes to the changing relationship with his young son. In “Holloway’s: Part One,” a waitress risks her job to help one of the restaurant’s psuedoproprietors, self-destructive Willy, the only way she knows how. Many of Patterson’s loosely linked stories follow the introspective Rosie as she grows from an insecure, lonely child struggling with her parents’ divorce and mother’s adultery to an adolescent exploring the bounds of sexuality and friendship and, eventually, to a hard-partying community college student living in a seedy apartment complex. Her only constant in life is a homeless skateboarder named John Wayne, who offers quiet companionship in the face of Rosie’s isolation. Patterson’s 13 engaging tales offer keen perspectives on life lived on the fringe."

Michelle Huneven, author of Jamesland:
“Victoria Patterson’s Newport Beach is a privileged world of wealth and heedless consumption that trails a wake of human damage. By giving us nuanced portraits of the sidelined, she somehow evokes the complex, glittering whole. Patterson is our generation's heir to John O'Hara and Edith Wharton. And nobody else writes about female sexuality with such sensitivity and fearlessness. Several times I had to put this book down just to catch my breath."

Hope to see you there.

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