An Evening with Andrey Kurkov in San Francisco!

I am delighted to have the opportunity to interview one of Ukraine’s best-known authors, and an author whose work I’ve been admiring for so many years, Andrey Kurkov, as a part of Litquake’s year-round series The Epicenter. Andrey Kurkov has been one of the most vocal voices in the West in support of Ukraine. He has traveled widely in Ukraine and the world, collecting stories and communicating the realities of this war in the premier English-language newspapers and magazines. He will be presenting a new book called DIARY OF INVASION (Deep Vellum Press) that collects some of these stories. As horrific as Russia’s war on Ukraine has been, Kurkov’s point of view is illuminating and delivered with kindness and respect for the readers. It’s a necessary book to read right now.

I expect this event to be sold out–don’t wait to reserve your tickets.

My friend, editor Briony Everroad introduced me to Kurkov’s work many years ago. Briony worked with Kurkov when his novel Death and the Penguin was first translated to English by George Bird and published in the UK to great success. It’s a hilarious and profound novel about the aftermath of the USSR’s fall, as seen through the eyes of one Kyiv-based journalist. Following Kurkov’s work over the years, I had a chance to review his novel Grey Bees last year for On the Seawall. I was so pleased to see that this novel and its translator, the amazing poet and man of letters, Boris Dralyuk won the National Book Critics Circle Prize a couple of weeks ago. Huge congratulations to all.

Come! This event is free, with recommended donations. (And please donate if you can!)

April 7, 7 pm

Hotel Emblem, San Francisco


Litquake Panel on Writing Communities

The world is on fire, cataclysmic events developing by the day and by the hour. As I am working on a novel, I feel that to do my job well, I have to turn off all the news for long chunks of time. My novel is set in the year 1990, and current news are not helpful when I’m trying to finish my draft. Yet I don’t want to hide my head in the sand and miss an opportunity to contribute today and now, whenever my particular intersection of skills can be of use.

I know many writers are trying to balance these impossible contradictions and demands on our time. Finding time to build community has never felt more important. For writers in San Francisco, come to this Litquake event for info about awesome local writers communities. I’ll be representing the San Francisco Writers Workshop — a free community workshop that meets at Noisebridge Hackerspace at 272 Capp Street on Tuesday nights 7-9 pm.

Pre-order tickets on Eventbrite.

Upcoming Reading: Lit Crawl San Francisco

My next reading with fellow authors and friends of WTAW Press is coming up this Saturday! I’ll be reading a short (and probably funny) piece from LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES.

Saturday October 19, 2019 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Third Haus 455 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA


Online Lit Crawl Schedule has the right information!

Aspiring Writers Beware: The Art of the Short Story Panel, Sunday

I’m one of the panelists for this event coming to San Francisco’s Litquake this Sunday.

Sunday October 13, 2019 1:00pm – 2:15pm
California College of the Arts, Writers’ Studio195 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Co-presented by MFA Writing at CCA

“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams.” —Neil Gaiman

Join four short fiction authors as they talk about their craft. Featuring Olga Zilberbourg, Keenan Norris, Mimi Lok, and Beth Piatote. Moderated by Peg Alford Pursell. $12 adv / $15 door

More details, including everyone’s bios, on Litquake’s website.

Upcoming readings

I will read my story “Companionship” that won the Litquake fiction prize at a Lit Crawl event, “Writers on the Verge” will take place on October 14th, at 5 pm, at Samovar Tea Lounge on Valencia Street. Full details are here.

On Tuesday, October 10th, at 7 pm, my friend and colleague Alia Volz organizes a reading called “Straight, No Chaser: Writers at the Bar” at the iconic Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco’s North Beach (its fame goes back to the Beat Generation). This reading features contributors to Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California (Outpost19), an anthology where one of my stories has appeared. I will read an excerpt from my story. The special guest is Charlie Jane Anders!

Litquake prize!

My short-short story “Companionship” won San Francisco’s Litquake’s short story prize! As a part of the prize, I will read it during an event on Saturday October 14 — more details about this reading to come. This is a very recent story that hasn’t yet been published anywhere. Here’s a teaser opening,

At three years old Michael did decide to return to his mother’s stomach. His mother shifted things around and made room under her heart. She lived a mostly stationary lifestyle, and so accommodating Michael was no problem. In fact, she appreciated the companionship…