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In partnership with the Humanities Institute, Stories on Stage Davis hosts an authors’ series that enlists actors to perform the work of veteran and emerging authors. Hosted the second Saturday of each month at the Pence Gallery in Davis, Stories on Stage synthesizes literature and theater and has brought lovers of fiction and theater together to celebrate this blending of the arts. The institute has contributed to this community endeavor since the series’ inception by providing a student videographer who records and posts every performance to the group’s website

Karen Joy Fowler, Natalie Baszile and Josh Weil were some of the authors featured at Stories on Stage Davis. Davisite Karen Joy Fowler is the author of three short story collections and six novels. Her current novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award and the 2014 California Book Award for Fiction. The novel, narrated by daughter and sister Rosemary Cooke, follows her average nuclear American family with one special caveat: the children’s sister, Fern, is a chimpanzee. The novel captures what it is to be part of a family in the greater workings of life. With an exceptional plot twist, Fowler has yet again produced a work of excellence.

Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar, is the recipient of the Hurst Wright College Writer’s Award and was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, with excerpts published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. The novel follows single mother Charley Bordelon, an African American widow laboring to construct a new identity in the contemporary South after she inherits 800 acres of sugarcane land. In her debut novel, Baszile brings her readers close-up to obligation, family and community through diligence and persistence in the character of Charley Bordelon.

Josh Weil, author of The Great Glass Sea, won the New York Time’s Editor’s Choice and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award. The Great Glass Sea is cloaked in the mysticism of Russian folklore and set in a dystopian present day Russia. The novel focuses on twin brothers Yarik and Dima (one an idealist, the other a realist) who work at the largest greenhouse in the world. Through an extraordinary set of circumstances, the once close brothers find themselves on opposite ends of the political trajectory, threatening to tear their world and family apart.

“In 1996, I was twenty-two years old, meandering through my fifth year at the University of California, Davis, and still maybe only a junior or maybe a senior, but so thoroughly uninterested in the niceties of units or requirements or degrees that I wouldn’t be graduating anytime soon. My education, my father liked to point out, was wider than it was deep. He said this often.”



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