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Parallel Stories

Parallel Stories is a literary and performing arts series that pairs art and artists with award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. This series functions as a multidisciplinary lens through which to view the Museum's collection and special exhibitions.

Parallel Stories - Jane Smiley: Love Comes First Beauty Follows

Thursday, February 27, 2020
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
“A novelist has two lives—a reading and writing life, and a lived life. He or she cannot be understood at all apart from this.”
Jane Smiley, 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel

Parallel Stories takes a close look at the life-long passions, prodigious productivity, and well-honed writing practice of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley in a far-ranging conversation with longtime friend, fellow author, and colleague in the Creative Writing program at UC Riverside, Andrew Winer. Often epic in scale and yet intimate in telling detail, Smiley’s multigenerational tales tell the story of middle America written, says Winer, “with a classic sense of humanity and compassion that have made her name part of any serious conversation about fiction in our time.” Hailed as one of America’s greatest living writers, Smiley was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001, and in 2006 she received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Her intimate evocations of American life have been compared to John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy; Updike himself praised Smiley for working on what he called “the edge of acceptable novel writing,” where she had replaced “plot and suspense with something freer and more lifelike.“

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member: $5.00
General Admission: $10.00
Senior (age 65+): $6.00

Parallel Stories - Juan Felipe Herrera: Writing Love in the Face of Disaster

Sunday, March 8, 2020
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
“I’m a political poet—let us say a human poet, a poet that’s concerned with the plight of people who suffer. If words can be of assistance, then that’s what I’m going to use.”
Juan Felipe Herrera

Parallel Stories flings open the door to the exuberant experimental poetry of former California and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera in a conversation between Herrera and his longtime friend, fellow author, and colleague in the Creative Writing program at UC Riverside, Andrew Winer.

Writing to create, as he says, “incredible bridges,” Herrera confounds all borders including that between the written and the spoken. The son of migrant farmers, which he says strongly shaped his work, he finds his stories in the landscape and language of California. This multiple award-winning author of over 30 books including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, reminds us that we are the poetry makers and invites us to join him.

Book signing to follow

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member: $5.00
General Admission: $10.00
Senior (age 65+): $6.00

Parallel Stories - Coventry: A Conversation with Rachel Cusk

Thursday, April 9, 2020
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Called by critics "one of the smartest writers alive," Rachel Cusk returns to SBMA and Parallel Stories to read from her latest collection of nonfiction writing, Coventry. In essays that are at once freewheeling and controlled, Cusk covers topics ranging from good manners, to rat eating, to traffic, to leashes on lions, and who controls the story. This fierce and elegant collection is a fearless exercise in truth telling; subtle, serious, and singular.

Book signing to follow.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member: $5.00
General Admission: $10.00
Senior (age 65+): $6.00