The City of West Hollywood celebrates the literary community year-round with its WeHo Reads program, an author series featuring both new and noteworthy authors at the West Hollywood Library.
The next WeHo Reads author series event will feature Chelsey Johnson, author of the novel Stray City, in conversation with Carrie Brownstein, Sleater Kinney guitarist and star ofPortlandia. Johnson and Brownstein will discuss the book on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Tickets are either $27 plus tax and fees which includes one copy of Stray City (the author will sign books after the event), or $8 general admission seats. Purchase tickets online at www.eventbrite.com/e/chelsey-johnson-in-conversation-w-carrie-brownstein-discusses-stray-city-tickets-42370971717
Chelsey Johnson’s stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, and NPR’s Selected Shorts, among others. She is an assistant professor of English at the College of William & Mary and is currently in Los Angeles working on a television project for Hulu.
Carrie Brownstein, Sleater Kinney guitarist and star of Portlandia, is the New York Times-bestselling author of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Brownstein says of Johnson’s Stray City: “Insightful and brilliant, Stray City explores the stickiness of doing what’s expected and the strange freedom born of contradiction. I tore through this novel like an orphaned reader seeking a home in the ragtag yet shimmering world that Chelsey Johnson so wondrously brings to life.”
Stray City follows 24-year-old artist Andrea Morales who escaped her Midwestern Catholic childhood — and the closet — to create a home and life for herself within the thriving but insular queer underground of Portland, Oregon. But one drunken night, reeling from a bad breakup and a friend’s betrayal, she recklessly crosses enemy lines and hooks up with a man. To her shock, Andrea soon discovers she’s pregnant. Mayhem ensues. A decade later, when her precocious daughter Lucia starts to uncover clues about the father she’s never known, Andrea is forced to reconcile the past she hoped to leave behind with the life she’s worked so hard to build. A thoroughly modern and original anti-romantic comedy, Stray City is an unabashedly entertaining literary debut about the families we’re born into and the families we choose, the complexity of identity, finding yourself by breaking the rules, and making bad decisions for all the right reasons.
There is an abundance of advanced praise for the novel, including from Michele Tea, award-winning author of Valencia and Black Wave who says Stray City is: “a love letter to Portland and to the youthful effort of world-making that created its important queer culture in the ’90s. It is a gorgeous, funny, sharply spot-on tale of growing up and making family again and again.”
This WeHo Reads author series event is presented by the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts program, Book Soup, and the West Hollywood Library. Tickets are required.Validated parking will be available in the adjacent five-story parking structure. There will be a signing event, hosted by Book Soup, following the conversation.
Upcoming Spring 2018 WeHo Reads events include:
— Sebastian Galvez in “An Evening with Tennessee Williams” on Wednesday, March 28, 7 p.m.;
— Michael Imperioli discussing and signing his debut novel, The Perfume Burned His Eyes, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7 p.m.;
— Kim Dower, West Hollywood City Poet Laureate, curates a poetry reading, “Route 66 Through the Eyes of Poets” during National Poetry Month on Wednesday, April 25, 7 p.m.;
— A staged reading of Patricia Loughrey’s play, Dear Harvey, with Celebration Theatre on Tuesday, May 22, 7 p.m.; and,
— Lillian Faderman discusses her book Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death as part of WeHo Reads and One City One Pride on Wednesday, May 30, 7 p.m.
For details about upcoming events and for more information about the City of West Hollywood’sWeHo Reads programming and other arts programming from the City of West Hollywood, please visit www.weho.org/wehoreads or www.weho.org/arts.