Friday, June 22 at Stories on Stage Sacramento: Escaping Chairman Mao

Stories on Stage Sacramento is delighted to present new work from Kirstin Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners and a recently released novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, about a family attempting to escape from Chairman Mao’s regime.  Appearing with Ms. Chen will be Stephen Cook.  Readings by Ethan Ireland and Justin Meng Lee. At The Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street, 25th and R Complex, Sacramento, on Friday, June 22, at 7:30 PM. Admission is free: a $10 donation is suggested.


Stories on Stage Sac June 2018

About our writers and readers

A native of Singapore who now lives in San Francisco, Kirstin Chen’s second novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, is set in the complicated and terrifying early years of the Maoist regime.  It tells the story of a family attempting to escape from mainland China to Hong Kong, primarily through the horrifying experiences of the nine-year-old daughter who is left behind.  Bury What We Cannot Take  was praised as “evocative” and “a fascinating family portrait” in a Publisher’s Weekly starred review, and was named a Most Anticipated Upcoming Book by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle, among others. Chen’s first novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, was a Kindle First selection, an O, The Oprah Magazine “book to pick up now,” and a Glamour book club pick. She was the fall 2017 NTU-NAC National Writer in Residence in Singapore, and has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her short stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Hobart, Pank, and the Best New Singaporean Short Stories. She holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. Chen is working on a novel about the counterfeit handbag trade.

Stephen P. Cook is the author of Two Rivers: Lieutenant John Bullis and His Days Commanding the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts (I St. Press), which was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Historical Fiction. Cook has also published short stories, book reviews, and scholarly essays, one of which, “Into the Wild: Chris McCandless and His Search for a Yonder” appears in New Wests and Post Wests. His non-fiction text, Realizing Westward: American Character and Cowboy Mythology was awarded best of category and best of show at the New England Booksellers Convention. He teaches English at Sacramento State.

Ethan Ireland is a multidisciplinary veteran of the film, television and theater trade, with sixteen years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted ‘lit noir’ author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. Most recently he appeared  in EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person.  He has performed on many occasions at Stories on Stage Sacramento and at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.

Making his debut at Stories on Stage Sacramento is Justin Meng Lee, who is currently attending California State University Sacramento and is a 3rd year Theatre Major. He’s appeared in the musicals  Annie and Guys and Dolls at Sac State.

About Stories on Stage Sacramento 

Now in its ninth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento is proud of its record, as an all-volunteer organization,  of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors,  to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.  

The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26.  In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

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