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Afternoons in Special Collections & Archives with Susan Straight

Afternoons in Special Collections & Archives with Susan Straight

Afternoons in Special Collections & Archives with Susan Straight


Photo by: Doug McCulloh

WEDNESDAY, October 3, 2012 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Between Heaven and Here by UCR Professor Susan Straight

Susan Straight will be reading excerpts from her new book Between Heaven and Here

Set several years before the events of Straight’s Take One Candle Light a Room (2010, etc.), the third installment of her trilogy concerns the reactions and memories that a prostitute’s death stirs up in the tightknit black community in Rio Seco, California. In August the ground is too hard to bury a body. But Glorette Picard is dead, and across the canal, out in the orange groves, they’ll gather shovels and pickaxes and soak the dirt until they can lay her coffin down. First, someone needs to find her son Victor, who memorizes SAT words to avoid the guys selling rock, and someone needs to tell her uncle Enrique, who will be the one to hunt down her killer, and someone needs to brush out her perfect crown of hair and paint her cracked toenails. As the residents of this dry-creek town prepare to bury their own, it becomes clear that Glorette’s life and death are deeply entangled with the dark history of the city and the untouchable beauty that, finally, killed her.

Susan Straight has published eight novels. Her new novel Between Heaven and Here (McSweeney’s) is the final book in the Rio Seco trilogy. Take One Candle Light a Room (Anchor Books) was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Kirkus. A Million Nightingales (Anchor Books) was a 2006 Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her novel Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. "The Golden Gopher" won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. Her stories and essays have been in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Salon, Zoetrope, Black Clock, and elsewhere. She has been awarded The Lannan Prize for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family, whose history is featured on susanstraight.com.

A small reception will follow each event along with copies of Between Heaven and Here for sale.

For additional information contact Special Collections & Archives at specialcollections@ucr.edu or by telephone 951-827-3233.



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