Friday, June 22 Stories on Stage Sacramento is delighted to present new work from Kirstin Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners and a recently released novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, about a family attempting to escape from Chairman Mao’s regime. Appearing with Ms. Chen will be author Stephen Cook. Readings will be by Ethan Ireland and Justin Meng Lee.
Friday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.
Sacramento Poetry Center
1719 25th Street, 25th and R Complex
A $10 donation is suggested.
About our authors
Kirsten Chen is a native of Singapore who now lives in San Francisco. Her second novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, is set in the complicated and terrifying early years of the Maoist regime. It tells the story of a family attempting to escape from mainland China to Hong Kong, primarily through the horrifying experiences of the nine-year-old daughter who is left behind. Bury What We Cannot Take was praised as “evocative” and “a fascinating family portrait” in a Publisher’s Weekly starred review, and was named a Most Anticipated Upcoming Book by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle, among others. Chen’s first novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, was a Kindle First selection, an O, The Oprah Magazine “book to pick up now,” and a Glamour book club pick. She was the fall 2017 NTU-NAC National Writer in Residence in Singapore, and has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her short stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Hobart, Pank, and the Best New Singaporean Short Stories. She holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. Chen is working on a novel about the counterfeit handbag trade.
Stephen P. Cook is the author of Two Rivers: Lieutenant John Bullis and His Days Commanding the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts (I St. Press), which was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Historical Fiction. Cook has also published short stories, book reviews, and scholarly essays, one of which, “Into the Wild: Chris McCandless and His Search for a Yonder,” appears in New Wests and Post-Wests. His non-fiction text, Realizing Westward: American Character and Cowboy Mythology was awarded best of category and best of show at the New England Booksellers Convention. He teaches English at Sacramento State.
About our readers
Ethan Ireland is a multidisciplinary veteran of the film, television and theater trade, with sixteen years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted ‘lit noir’ author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. Most recently he appeared in EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person. He has performed on many occasions at Stories on Stage Sacramento and at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.
Justin Meng Lee makes his debut this month at Stories on Stage Sacramento. He is currently attending California State University Sacramento and is a 3rd year Theatre Major. He’s appeared in the musicals Annie and Guys and Dolls at Sac State.