Wordcrafters: “Reading like a Writer” series with Cai Emmons
May 16 • 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm• Free
Cai Emmons discusses Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill
When: Third Wednesday of the Month (May 16) from 7:00-9:00 pm
> Free and open to the public (suggested donation $5)
> Bring your own beverage (attendees under 21 will not be permitted to drink alcohol)
Where: Shelton McMurphey Johnson House, 303 Willamette
*** Arrive early to take a self-tour around the house***
> To get to the house, drive up Pearl St. and turn onto Third following the signs.
> Limited parking is available on both sides of the house.
About Reading Like a Writer:
Each month, a professional writer will discuss a book that’s meaningful to them both as a reader and a writer. They’ll share their favorite character moments and passages and all the things they love or find challenging. Then they’ll tease apart elements of craft that inspire them, whether it’s the witty dialogue, how place serves to push characters to the brink, or the masterful interweaving of plot and theme. They’ll open up the discussion for everyone to share at the end. Read ahead so you can share what you love, or just come to enjoy the talk and discover great new books and writers!
About Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill:
In the beginning, it was easy to imagine their future. They were young and giddy, sure of themselves and of their love for each other. “Dept. of Speculation” was their code name for all the thrilling uncertainties that lay ahead. Then they got married, had a child and navigated the familiar calamities of family life—a colicky baby, a faltering relationship, stalled ambitions.
When their marriage reaches a sudden breaking point, the wife tries to retrace the steps that have led them to this place, invoking everything from Kafka to the Stoics to doomed Russian cosmonauts as she analyzes what is lost and what remains. In language that shimmers with rage and longing and wit, Offill has created a brilliantly suspenseful love story—a novel to read in one sitting, even as its piercing meditations linger long after the last page. A Best Book of the Year: The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vogue.com, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed
About the speaker:
Cai Emmons is the author of the novels His Mother’s Son (Harcourt) and The Stylist (HarperCollins). His Mother’s Son received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, was a Booksense and Literary Guild selection, was translated into French and German, was reviewed by O Magazine and The Economist, and won an Oregon Book Award (the Ken Kesey Award) for fiction. Emmons’s short fiction has appeared in such periodicals as Narrative, Arts and Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, TriQuarterly, The Santa Monica Review, The Pennsylvania Gazette, The New York Post, and Portland Monthly. Emmons holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, and two MFAs, one in film from New York University, one in fiction from the University of Oregon. She has taught at various colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California. Since 2002 she has been teaching fiction and screenwriting at the University of Oregon.