We’re thrilled to welcome Karen E Bender, National Book Award finalist, back to Stories on Stage Sacramento, and to feature a reading from her just-published short story collection, The New Order. Also appearing with Karen: Sacramento favorite (and Stories on Stage founder) Valerie Fioravanti. Friday, February 22.

Karen Bender The New Order 2

Karen E Bender

author of Refund and The New Order

with Valerie Fioravanti

author of Garbage Night at the Opera

readings by Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry

Friday, February 22, 2019 at the auditorium at CLARA

1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30 

A $10 donation is suggested. 

About our Writers

Karen E Bender

Karen E Bender returns to Stories on Stage Sacramento with The New Order, her latest collection of short stories. Recently longlisted for The Story Prize, The New Order has been singled out in over a half-dozen “best of 2018” lists and won praise from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and National Book Review, among others. Booklist,  in a starred review, praises the collection for its “…literary virtuosity, psychological authenticity, and breath-catching insight.  Bender dramatizes gripping personal dilemmas compounded by a new order of social tyranny.” Bender’s previous collection, Refund, was a finalist for the National Book Award and a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Previous titles include the novel Like Normal People, which was a Los Angeles Times bestseller, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her short fiction has appeared The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Story, The Yale Review, Electric Literature, Narrative, The Harvard Review, Guernica, and The Iowa Review. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best and have won two Pushcart prizes. Her tales “Eternal Love” and “The Fourth Prussian Dynasty” have been read in the Selected Shorts program on NPR. Karen is the Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA and lives with her husband, the writer Robert Anthony Siegel, in Wilmington, North Carolina

Valerie Fioravanti

Valerie FioravantiValerie Fioravanti, the founder of Stories on Stage Sacramento,  is the author of the linked collection of Brooklyn stories Garbage Night at the Opera from BkMk Press, which won the Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Her fiction has appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Hunger Mountain. She has received eight Pushcart Prize nominations for her work and a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy.

About our Readers

Kelley Ogden

Kelley Ogden 2A frequent reader at Stories on Stage Sacramento, Kelley Ogden is an actress, writer, director and producer, who was most recently seen onstage in the Capital Stage production of Sweat. In addition to working with Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works and Theater Galatea, Ogden co-founded KOLT Run Creations, a local fringe theater company. She earned a BFA in performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. She will read “The Cell Phones” from Karen E Bender’s The New Order

Tara Henry


Highlights of Tara Henry‘s  past roles include: Titus in Titus Andronicus (RTAA), Emma/Ensemble in The Behavior of Broadus (Capital Stage), Fanny Dashwood/Charlotte Palmer in Sense & Sensibility (Sacramento Theater Company), Cassandra in Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike (Main Street Theatre Works), Charlotte/Mrs.Gardner in Pride & Prejudice (Sacramento Theatre Company), Both Dromios in Comedy of Errors (Sac Shakespeare Festival), Goneril in King Lear (TAAC). Tara is appearing next in Angels in America as Angel/Nurse Emily in July at the Roseville Theatre Arts Academy. She will read “Falla’s Boys” from Valerie Fioravanti’s upcoming short story collection Bridge and Tunnel.

About Stories on Stage Sacramento 

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you  the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.  

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based 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.  

Our 2018 season featured the writers  Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. 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.

in 2019, we’ll welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma ShieldsJanet Fitch, and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker, and Fred D’Aguiar.  And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. More will be announced: watch this space!



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4 responses to “We’re thrilled to welcome Karen E Bender, National Book Award finalist, back to Stories on Stage Sacramento, and to feature a reading from her just-published short story collection, The New Order. Also appearing with Karen: Sacramento favorite (and Stories on Stage founder) Valerie Fioravanti. Friday, February 22.

  1. Alberta Nassi

    Bravo, Sue, and congratulations on your 10 year milestone! Your author lineup only keeps getting more and more spectacular. Alberta Nassi(friend of Ruth Blank)

  2. sigridbathen

    Obviously, it’s Feb. 22, not Jan. . .But you probably caught that. . .

    Sent from my iPad


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