July at Stories on Stage: Kirstin Chen’s “Soy Sauce For Beginners”

Family. Love. Artisanal soy sauce.

More bound together than you might think. 

This month’s featured writer is

Kirstin Chen 

author of Oprah book pick Soy Sauce For Beginners

An excerpt from Kirstin’s novel will be read by Yuri Tajiri

Also appearing is emerging Sacramento writer Ginny Johnson

Chapter 1 of her novel Honeysuckle will be read by Denise Hoffner

Friday, July 25,

Doors open at 7. Readings begin at 7:30 PM

Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street.

Kirsten Chen

Kirstin Chen is the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners, featured in USA Today’s “New Voices”, an O, The Oprah Magazine “book to pick up now,” and a Glamour book club pick. A former Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, she holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. She has received awards from the Sewanee and Napa Valley writers’ conferences, and her short stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Hobart, Pank, and others. Born and raised in Singapore, she currently lives in San Francisco, where she’s at work on her second novel, set on a tiny island off the coast of southern China in 1958.

Yuri Tajiri

 Yuri Tajiri has appeared in String of Pearls by EMH Productions, as Linda in Evil Dead the Musical at Sutter Street Theatre, and Grumio in Taming of the Shrew at The Alternative Arts Collective. She recently graduated from CSU Sacramento with a BA in Theatre Arts and enjoys working as a portrait photographer when she’s not acting. She is excited to be making her debut at Stories on Stage !


Ginny Johnson‘s fiction has appeared in The Oxford American, a Southern literary magazine. A chapter of her novel Honeysuckle received an Honorable Mention in the National Fiction Writing Contest for Lawyers. Her play, “The Last of Everything,” was given a staged reading in Santa Monica in 2005. She lives in Davis and is currently working on a collection of short stories set in Alabama, her home state.


Denise Hoffner 2 Originally from Woody Allen’s Brooklyn, Denise Hoffner is a mother, writer, activist, actor, lawyer, and crossing guard.  She has performed at The Marsh Theatre and in The Vagina Monologues. Denise has told stories to children at the Davis International House and to grown-ups at The Porchlight Storytelling Series.  She’s performed stand-up comedy at drag king shows, LGBTQIA pride events, and her dentist’s birthday party.  Denise also writes essay-memoir creative non-fiction.

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