Writers in the studio: Ron Hansen and Bo Caldwell read Tuesday

A moment of literary greatness in Santa Clara’s Fess Parker Studio Theatre

Ron Hansen reads from his forthcoming fiction collection, She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories, and Bo Caldwell reads from her latest novel, City of Tranquil Light. It happens Oct. 23, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Fess Parker Studio Theatre.

The new collection of stories by Ron Hansen M.A. ’95, the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Professor in SCU’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been called “beautifully crafted” (The New York Times), “unforgettable” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “diverse and expansive” (The Washington Post). That’s no surprise to readers familiar with his many novels, including The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Atticus, and Mariette in Ecstasy.

Hansen’s latest collection of short fiction takes readers from frontier Nebraska—with epic blizzards and a visit by Oscar Wilde—to contemporary tales of murder, romance, and dementia. He’s the director for creative writing at Santa Clara and the literary editor of this magazine. He is also a graduate of the pastoral ministries program at Santa Clara and a deacon in the Catholic Church, and he was recently featured in the PBS series Religion and Ethics Newsweekly in an episode that explores writing as sacrament. You can also read the story behind his most recent novel, A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, in the Summer 2011 issue of SCM.

Hansen is married to writer Bo Caldwell, who will be reading from her most recent novel.

Bo Caldwell is the author of two epic works of fiction inspired by her missionary grandparents. Her first novel, The Distant Land of My Father, became a national bestseller and was chosen for Silicon Valley Reads in 2008. Her latest, City of Tranquil Light, has been praised for “plainspoken and tender writing” (San Francisco Chronicle) and as demonstrating “great historical perspective” (San Jose Mercury News). But that’s just to touch the surface, which this novel goes well beyond; writer Patricia Hampl calls it a “beautiful, searing book that leaves an indelible presence in the mind.” The novel follows a newly-wed missionary couple as they work to improve people’s lives in China as the 2,000-year-old Chinese political system collapses around them. Read an excerpt from City of Tranquil Light here.

Hansen and Caldwell will read selections from their latest offerings on Oct. 23, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Fess Parker Studio in Mayer Theatre on the Santa Clara University campus. See the university calendar for more information, including directions.

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