I will be participating in Writers’ Week at Idyllwild Arts’ in the mountains of Southern California as a visiting writer, talking about the art of writing dialogue in fiction. This is the make or break item of all fiction writing—the thing agents and editors look at first to see how well fiction writers have mastered their art form. I will also be reading from my brand new novel, Chimes of a Lost Cathedral, which debuts on July 2, the second day of the conference. www.idyllwildarts.org
After the loves and betrayals of The Revolution of Marina M., young poet Marina Makarova finds herself alone amid the devastation of the Russian Civil War in the concluding volume of her epic journey, CHIMES OF A LOST CATHEDRAL. Pregnant and adrift, she is forced onto her own resourcefulness to find a place to wait out the birth of her child and then return to her beloved city—Petrograd.
But after two years of revolution, the city that was once St. Petersburg is unrecognizable, haunted, half-emptied, the starving Capital of Once Had Been. Its streets teem with homeless children. Moved by their plight, though hardly better off herself, she takes on the challenge of caring for these orphans, until they become the tool of tragedy from an unexpected direction.
Shaped by her country’s ordeals and her own—betrayal and privation and unimaginable loss—Marina evolves as a poet and a woman of sensibility and substance hardly imaginable at the beginning of her transformative odyssey
Chimes of a Lost Cathedral culminates the saga of one woman’s journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century— the story of an artist who discovers her full power, passion, and creativity just as her revolutionreveals its true direction for the future.
For a week, I will be teaching, reading, leading workshops, having one-on-one manuscript meetings with participants, joining in craft panels, and reading from my brand new novel, Chimes of a Lost Cathedral, for the very first time. I was a participant at Squaw Valley in 1995, and have been staff there since the early 2000s. It is a home away from home, a class reunion, summer camp for writers—I hold my time spent up in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada dear. Have made lifelong friends there and continue to do so! If you’ have enrolled, I look forward to meeting you! And if you have not—check it out for next year! www.communityofwriters.org
The Chimes of a Lost Cathedral book tour is shaping up beautifully! Publication date, July 2, I’ll be up at Writer’s Week in Idyllwild, and then teaching for a week at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Then the ball drops! Hope to see you on the road!
If you would like to have a book signed, but are not able to attend a reading, you can preorder from these booksellers, get your book signed, and they’ll send it to you!
July 16 LOS ANGELES, CA Skylight Bookstore,
July 18 DALLAS, TX Interabang Books
July 19 HOUSTON, TX Brazos Bookstore
July 22 ATLANTA—DECATUR, GA Georgia Center for the Book
July 27 SEBASTAPOL, CA/CALLISTOGA Copperfields’ Books
July 28 SAN FRANCISCO/MARIN—CORTE MADERA, CA Book Passage
August 1 LOS ANGELES/PASADENA, CA— Vroman’s Books
September 20, PRESCOTT, AZ—Literary Southwest Writer’s Series at Yavapai College
September 28-29, WRIGHTWOOD, CA—Wrightwood Literary Festival
I’ll be in conversation at West Hollywood’s Book Soup with my brilliant student Saskia Vogel, on the launch of her erotic debut novel, PERMISSION—a subtle and beautiful exploration of the sliding panels of desire, as a young actress, unbalanced by the accidental death of her father, becomes intrigued by a woman running a dungeon in the suburban house across the street.
Book Soup is located at 8818 Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood.
A weekend writers’ retreat in the pines at Idyllwild, California.
Daily life has an insidious way of disconnecting us from our creative impulses. This intensive retreat is intended to reconnect you with your creative sources, and explore aspects of fiction writing through discussions and generative exercises. We’ll see what comes up—nuts and bolts issues such as style, writing from the senses, structuring scene and story, the dialogue scene, and more intimate topics such as time management, fortitude, keeping inspiration alive and other issues. So step aside from the daily grind and feed the writer within. To register, contact idyllwildarts.org/register
For More Information go to:
Reading with Sophia Shalmiyev (Mother Winter), a scorching, stylistically risk-taking memoir of her Russian childhood with her alcoholic mother in 1980s Leningrad—the same city where The Revolution of Marina M. is set—at the beginning of the revolution, rather than its dregs. Shalmiyev’s mother was declared unfit and at eleven, her father brings her to America. The conversation will be free-ranging, discussing Russia and motherhood, emigration and revolution, feminism and identity—moderated by Lisa Mechum, Senior Features editor of The Rumpus.
Part of the PEN ON FIRE Speakers Series hosted by Barbara DeMarco Barrett. David Francis (WEDDING BUSH ROAD) and I will be talking about our books and the art and craft of writing. David and I have been in writing group together since 2005 or so, so we both saw each other’s books born, the struggle to bring them in—heard each successive draft. It should be a very revealing conversation!
I’ll be joining poet and now fiction-writer Marci Vogel at the renowned literary center Beyond Baroque in Venice Beach—celebrating it’s 50th year of operation! It’s a legend, all on its own.
I’lll be reading from THE REVOLUTION OF MARINA M.—appropriately, a novel of a poet’s coming of age—to celebrate its paperback release; with Marci (At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody, winner of the inaugural Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize) will be launching her brand-new novella from the very cool Melville House Press—Death and Other Holidays, which just won the inaugural Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize. Should be a great afternoon.
Regular admission. Members FREE.
In conversation with Jeff Jackson, author of Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel at Skylight Bookstore, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles 90027.
Two panels at this spectacular Great Lakes resort.
SATURDAY, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. Lyric Theater
PANEL: STORIES OF WAR
With Jessica Shattuck, moderated by Terry Gable.
SUNDAY, Sept. 30, 10:30 a.m., Lyric Theater
PANEL: NARRATING PLACE AND TIME
For tickets or more information on the Festival, contact: Harbor Springs Festival of the Book
The Traveler's Practice: Journey and Journal
The best trips continue long after we’ve returned home: in memory, in the stories we tell, and in the ways we reorient our lives. But how do we catch in words the light above the Seine, or the way the California coastline opens us up? How do we turn sights into lasting insights and use the landscape around us to unlock the treasures within? By keeping a travel journal, we can deepen our experiences and increase present-moment awareness. Writing can help us become our truest selves.
Join renowned writers Pico Iyer and Janet Fitch for an intimate exploration of your inner and outer worlds through the lens of travel writing. Pico and Janet will use readings, periods of silence, exercises, and spirited discussions to explore how to catch the smells of a souq in Morocco or the spaciousness of a Colorado mountain, and how to give life to the way they make you feel. If travel is recorded vividly and searchingly, it can be a way of waking up the senses and bringing us back to our deepest home. Invoking writers such as Annie Dillard, Henry Miller, Leonard Cohen, Anais Nin, and a chorus of others to inspire the group, you can discover how every trip can be a kind of transport and how writing about your travels can be the first step toward transformation.
To register, go to www.esalen.org
Panel: Epics Old & New
I hit the jackpot of panels at the LA Times Festival of books this year, when I'll be in the incredible company of Madeline Miller (Circe), Laila Lalami (The Moor's Account), AG Lombardo (Graffiti Palace).-- talking about The Revolution of Marina M. What epic panel could be without a Russian epic? Moderated by Chris Daley, so I know it's going to sparkle. Hope to see you there!
Three panels: Event #1:
Saturday, 10:00 am to 11:00 am Location:Koffler Room 204
Panelists:Jim Fergus, Janet Fitch, Melody Winnower. Join these celebrated authors as they discuss indomitable characters who wrestle with grief, test the bonds of love, and refuse to be subdued or defeated by some of the most dramatic events of the centuries in which they live.
Location:Student Union Santa Rita
Sunday, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Panelists:Jim Fergus, Janet Fitch, Shobha Rao
Sunday, 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Panelists:Melanie Benjamin, Jillian Cantor, Janet Fitch. Moderator:Pam Treadwell-Rubin
The Tucson Festival of Books is held each year on the campus of the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Structuring the Novel: Methods, Approaches, Ideas. (Janet Fitch, Lindsey Drager, Christian Kiefer, Matthew Salesses, Derek Palacio) The methods of structuring book-length fiction are as numerous as they are difficult, especially in an era where the very idea of the "novel" is being called into question. Bringing together a diverse group of panelists with very different methods of structure, this panel strives to offer concrete answers to your structuring questions. What method might work best for the novel you are writing? How best to move forward? To outline or not to outline? How much to plan?
Author talk and book signing. Event held at Cal State University, Fullerton, benefiting the Assistance League of Fullerton. Eight authors chosen across a variety of genres.
For more information, go to Alpha Day of Authors
Feb. 17, 2018, California State University, Fullerton
Joint reading with Janet Fitch and Florencia Ramirez (Eat Less Water).
A joint reading and signing with environmental activist Florencia Ramirez, a "sister" from the AROHO Retreat in Abiquiu New Mexico, where I first met this remarkable young woman and learned about her project and her blog EAT LESS WATER .
Florencia has long been examining ways in which we can do more to preserve water in this time of climate change: better ways to grow our food, making more responsible (and surprising) choices in what we buy and how we see the future of water.
I wanted to do an event with her to celebrate her book, EAT LESS WATER, just published by Red Hen Press, as well as my own new book, THE REVOLUTION OF MARINA M. , and the radical power of women.
I hear craft tequila will be served!
In this conversation with Jill Alexander Essbaum, I will be discussing my path to publication, the two films made from my books, the ten years I spent on The Revolution of Marina M., and how to sustain a career as a writer of literary fiction.
Available to current UCR MFA creative writing students and those considering applying for the program. See UCR Palm Desert MFA in Creative Writing website for more information.
The Community of Writers in collaboration with Stories on Stage Sacramento is proud to present New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander Janet Fitch in conversation with Capital Public Radio’s Beth Ruyak.
For tickets and more information: The Community of Writers Presents An Evening With Janet Fitch