Our So-Called Lives
Oliver de la Paz, Tishani Doshi, & Marie Mockett

Why do we want to escape the places we were raised? How much do its bleachers and stadiums, its nosy neighbors and long-distance phone calls shape our coming-of-age? Poet Tishani Doshi reads from her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers. Called “captivating, delightful” by Salman Rushdie,The Pleasure Seekers follows the cross-cultural love affair sparked by a young man’s solitary move from Madras to London and the tupsy-turvy Patel-Jones family that ensues. In Picking Bones from Ash Marie Mutsuki Mockett builds a lavish world in which characters journey from Buddhist temples to the black market of international antiques in California, tracing generations of women through different locales with different expectations on who they should become. Oliver de la Paz’s Requiem for the Orchard, poems follow a speaker’s boyhood to fatherhood where he wants to take his son back “to the small town of my youth and hold the book of wildflowers / open for him, and look.”

Tishani Doshi is a poet and dancer based in Madras, India. Her first collection of poetry, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection in 2006. The Pleasure Seekers is her first novel.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born in Carmel, California to a Japanese mother and American father and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian studies. Her work often focuses on the intersection between spirituality and modernity, and the manner in which Japan and America have responded to unprecedented materialism and success. Her essay, Letter from a Japanese Crematorium, originally published in Agni 65, was cited as notable in the 2008 Best American Essays and published in Creative Nonfiction 3.Picking Bones from Ash, published by Graywolf, is her debut novel and was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing and was a finalist for the Paterson Award for Fiction.

Oliver de la Paz is the author of three collections of poetry, Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby (SIU Press 2001, 2007), and the forthcoming Requiem for the Orchard (U. of Akron Press 2010), winner of the Akron Prize for poetry chosen by Martin Espada. He co-chairs the advisory board of Kundiman, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Asian American Poetry. A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship Award and a GAP Grant from Artist Trust, his work has appeared in journals like Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House, Chattahoochee Review, and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. He teaches at Western Washington University.

$5 suggested donation. This event is open to the public.

Our So-Called Lives

Oliver de la Paz, Tishani Doshi, & Marie Mockett
Friday, September 17, 2010
7:00 PM
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
112 W27th Street, 6th Floor
New York New York
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