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Paul Park launches Fantastic Fiction Salons in Seattle, WA


Hey!

Thanks for dropping by to check out what's new on the Seattle arts scene!  On January 29th, NW MediaArts launched its first reading in the Fantastic Fiction Salon series with critically acclaimed writer Paul Park.  Paul flew in from  Massachussetts to read from the third book in the Tourmaline Quartet, The White Tyger, for the very first time anywhere.  This event marked the culmination of efforts begun last fall when I wrote a grant sponsored by Richard Hugo House, a non-profit organization that serves as a center for the literary arts in Seattle, to provide space for this new speculative fiction reading and workshop series.  The monthly series is co-sponsored by University Book Store, and our hard-working bookseller friend Duane Wilkins will be there with us sell books for Connie Willis in February, Terry Bisson in March, Peter Beagle in April, and Karen Joy Fowler in May.

Hugo House is a nice place for readings.  The reading room is an intimate space set up cafe-style, with tables and chairs and a small raised stage at the front.  You can buy coffee, tea, beer, wine, or baked goods to enjoy during the readings, all of which helps contributes to the relaxed, cozy atmosphere. 

 Paul Park is not just a uniquely talented writer, he's also a really good reader; he could have been an actor.  When I hear him read from his work I think how lucky his kids are to have him there to read to them every night.  Close your eyes and listen - he takes you there.  On this January night in Seattle "there" was Roumania, and the adventures of Andromeda, a girl who was once a man and now sometimes a dog, were transporting.   

Like all of the writers who come to Seattle as part of this series, Paul taught a writing workshop all day Sunday at Richard Hugo House and read at the Fantastic Fiction Salon on Monday night.  He taught "
Fantastic Places: Making the Unreal Real" during the Writing Fantastic Fiction workshop series.   His workshop was very well received.  Attendees were mostly experienced, published writers and we spent the day writing and then discussing what we wrote.  Louise Marley, an accomplished author of nine novels herself, participated in the class and had this to say: 
http://journals.aol.com/lmarley/LouiseMarley/entries/2007/01/29/fantastic-fiction-workshop-with-paul-park/985
Cat Rambo posted notes from the workshop in her journal as well.

I don't know why Paul Park isn't better known.  He is one of the finest authors on the "humanist" wing of American Science Fiction and Fantasy. "His powerful, densely written narratives of religious and existential crisis on worlds at once exotic and familiar" (Nick Gevers) have won him critical acclaim
He is one of the most innovative and literary writers in the field.   

Paul's prose is elegant, poetic, subtle, and layered with meaning. His imagination seems limitless. Symbolic and mythic metaphysical connections are woven throughout his work.  These connections then build into broad psychological and political meanings. His characters are powerfully drawn--at times ambiguous and full of contradictions, just like people in real life. He tackles really difficult, interesting subject matter in books like Celestis, where he came closer than anybody I've ever read to describing what it means to be an alien "other."    

I highly recommend his work, especially his short story collection, "If Lions Could Speak,” his novel Celestis, and the four books beginning with A Princess of Roumania.  Paul's work transcends genre - it's an authentic exploration of what it means to be human.   

You can read more about Paul Park at his website;
Paul Park.  

Connie Willis is the next author to come to Seattle as part of the Fantastic Fiction Series and will teach a workshop on February 25th and read on February 26th.  I'll be back to report on Connie's workshop and reading!

Thanks for checking in;
Leslie

Paul Park reading from the White Tyger January 2007

Comments

(Anonymous)

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(Anonymous)

Idetrorce

very interesting, but I don't agree with you
Idetrorce

(Anonymous)

Re: Hey Leslie!

Hi Chris,

I simply don't know how to add friends. Totally lame, I know,

Almost off to WorldCon;

Les