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Sunday, October 19, 2008, from 6 – 8 PM

For Immediate Release:  October 8, 2008
Contact:  Diana Wagman, 323- 810-1573, or 323-669-3306

What: Los Angeles’s leading writers gather to win Nevada for Obama.

Where: Track 16 Gallery, Bergamot Station,
2525 Michigan Ave., C1, Santa Monica, CA 90404

When: Sunday, October 19, 2008, from 6 – 8 PM

Suggested donation $75

For more information and to RSVP, please visit: www.authorsforobama.org

Los Angeles, CA – Track 16 Gallery, One Nation Hollywood, and Diana Wagman present some of Los Angeles’s leading literary figures -- among them Sarah Bynum, Ron Carlson, Percival Everett, Janet Fitch, Luis Rodriguez, Susan Straight, Marisa Silver, and Marianne Wiggins -- reading from their work at Authors for Obama, a special fundraiser to be held at Track 16 Gallery, Bergamot Station, on Sunday, October 19th from 6 to 8 PM.  All funds raised will be used to help the Obama campaign win the crucial swing state of Nevada. The reading will be held in the context of the politically charged work of artist and activist Robbie Conal in his retrospective exhibition, “No Spitting, No Kidding,”

The authors will either write something specifically for the event, or read work that fits the occasion.  Novelist Diana Wagman sparked the event, calling on friends to help as readers and organizers.  “There was a similar event in New York,” says Wagman.  “And I know Los Angeles is a bigger book town. People here love books and authors and Barack Obama. What a perfect combination.”

The reading is expected to raise sufficient funds to allow dozens of California volunteers to canvas for votes in the swing state of Nevada.  According to Wagman, “We need to bring our energy to bear where it is needed most: Nevada. We are neck-and-neck there, and the 5 electoral votes represented in Nevada may very well be the difference on Election Day.” 

Authors for Obama features Sarah Bynum, Ron Carlson, Percival Everett, Janet Fitch, Luis Rodriguez, Susan Straight, Marisa Silver, and Marianne Wiggins reading from their work. Additional authors TBD.

Time: Sunday, October 19, 6-8pm

Location: Track 16 Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg C-1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Directions here: http://track16.com/contact.php
Free onsite parking.

Tickets: Suggested donation $75 per person. For more information and to RSVP, please visit: www.authorsforobama.org

Scheduled to appear:

1Marisa Silver made her fictional debut in The New Yorker when she was featured in that magazines first “Debut Fiction” issue. Her collection of short stories, Babe in Paradise was published by W.W. Norton in 2001. That collection was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. A story from the collection was included in The Best American Short Stories 2000. In 2005, W.W. Norton published her novel, No Direction Home. Her latest novel, The God of War, was published in April 2008 by Simon and Schuster. Her short fiction continues to be published in The New Yorker.

1Praised as "a master of the short story," Ron Carlson is the award-winning author of nine books of fiction, including Five Skies, and the just-released book on writing, Ron Carlson Writes a Story. Carlson is the director of the University of California, Irvine Programs in Writing. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and the Cohen Prize at Ploughshares.  His new novel The Signal will be published by Viking next spring.

2Percival Everett is the author of fifteen novels, three collections of short fiction, and one volume of poetry. Among his novels are Wounded, Glyph, Erasure, American Desert, For Her Dark Skin, Zulus, The Weather and The Women Treat Me Fair, Cutting Lisa, Walk Me to the Distance, Suder, The One That Got Away, Watershed, God's Country, his short story collection is Big Picture, and his poetry book is re:f (gesture). He is the recipient of the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature (for his 1996 story collection Big Picture) and a New American Writing Award (for his 1990 novel Zulus). His stories have been included in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Short Stories.  He currently teaches at the University of Southern California.

3Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is a writer who lives in Los Angeles and teaches at UC San Diego. She is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her first novel, Madeleine is Sleeping, was published by Harcourt in 2004 and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Triquarterly, The Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and in Best American Short Stories. Her new novel, Ms. Hemple Chronicles, came out in September, 2008.

4Marianne Wiggins is the author of nine novels and a collection of short stories.  Her latest is The Shadow Catcher.  She has won an NEA grant, the Whiting Writers' Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and she was a National Book Award finalist in fiction for Evidence of Things Unseen.

5Susan Straight is the author of six novels, including I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights, The Gettin Place and the award winning Highwire Moon which was a finalist for The National Book Award. Her short story, The Golden Gopher, from the anthology Los Angeles Noir, won an Edgar Award for Best Mystery. Among her honors and awards are the California Book Prize, a Lannan Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and a Best American Short Story Award. Straight was born in Riverside and lives there with her three daughters.

6Luis J. Rodriguez has emerged as one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with ten nationally published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, and poetry. Luis’ poetry has won a Poetry Center Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and “Foreword” magazine’s Silver Book Award, among others. His two children’s books have won a Patterson Young Adult Book Award, two “Skipping Stones” Honor Award, and a Parent’s Choice Book Award, among others. Luis is best known for the 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. An international best seller—with more than 20 printings, around 250,000 copies sold—the memoir also garnered a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book.

7Janet Fitch is most famously known as the author of the Oprah's Book Club novel White Oleander, which became a film in 2002. She is a graduate of Reed College, located in Portland, Oregon. She was born in Los Angeles, a third-generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers.  Her third novel, Paint It Black, named after the Rolling Stones song of the same name, was published in September 2006.

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Track 16 Gallery is an internationally recognized art gallery that has been in existence for 14 years. We are dedicated to exhibiting culturally diverse works, and actively involving the public with our exhibitions by presenting events, discussions, readings and films that revolve around the work. Please feel free to review our past exhibitions by visiting our web site at www.track16.com.