David Mura Book Launch: A Stranger's Journey
Location: The Loft at Open Book (Performance Hall)
Day of the Week: Thursday
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
• Regular: $10.00
• Member: $5.00
Long recognized as a master teacher at writing programs like VONA and the Loft, David Mura has written a book on creative writing which addresses our increasingly diverse American literature. Mura argues for a more inclusive and expansive definition of craft, particularly in relationship to race, even as he elucidates timeless rules of narrative construction in fiction and memoir.
In A Stranger’s Journey, Mura poses two central questions. The first involves identity: How is writing an exploration of who one is and one’s place in the world? Mura examines how the myriad identities in our changing contemporary canon have led to new challenges regarding both craft and pedagogy. The book’s second central question involves structure: How does one tell a story? Mura provides clear, insightful narrative tools that any writer may use, taking in techniques from fiction, screenplays, playwriting, and myth. He also candidly explores the newly evolved aesthetic principles of memoir and how questions of identity occupy a central place in contemporary memoir.
“This book is the intersection where our paths meet, where we can forge bonds that transcend the racial divide.”
--Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us
"Upon finishing this book, I think that we will no longer be strangers. We will no longer feel that we are on our journey alone. This book is the intersection where our paths meet, where we can forge bonds that transcend the racial divide. Maybe from here on out, we can accompany each other on our journeys as friends and fellow artists, but most importantly, as fellow humans."
—Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us
"To take honest stock of ourselves and to place our experience within the larger world, this is the task of the ideal writer, work that is made harder in a literary and political climate created to validate the experiences of certain numbers at the expense of excluding and denying even the existence of others of us. David Mura faces this challenge head-on and gives us a book that is essential reading for anyone who considers the writer's art a serious, and sacred, opportunity to transform the world. A Stranger's Journey speaks to writers and teachers willing to embrace the task of complicating our idealized version of reality and who want to push themselves, and others, to face ‘the blemishes and blasphemies’ of our lives with clarity and passion. Mura takes his place among an illustrious group of spirit guides, from Baldwin to Danticat, from Naipaul to Diaz, in showing us exactly how to construct the requisite tools in order to dismantle the master's house."
—Ru Freeman, author of On Sal Mal Lane
David Mura has written two memoirs, Turning Japanese, which won the Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book, and Where the Body Meets Memory. His novel is Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire; his four books of poetry include the National Poetry Contest winner After We Lost Our Way, The Colors of Desire, Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and The Last Incantations. His newest book, A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity and Narrative Craft in Writing, will be published in August 2018.
Advanced tickets guarantee a general admission seat and help cover the Loft's costs to host the event. Advanced tickets are non-refundable. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to the event on a first-come, first-served basis. No one turned away for lack of funds. Doors open 30 minutes before the event. Seating is general admission (not assigned).