Two Novelists on Memory, Identity, and Place

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Episode Summary
Percival Everett's Assumption, a baffling murder mystery and Steve Erickson's These Dreams of You, an enigmatic search for an adopted black daughter's past, both delve into race, the history of their characters, and the places they reside. From a hippie commune in Denver to a city in Ethiopia, these two acclaimed Los Angeles novelists go to great lengths in search of truth.

Participant(s) Bio
Percival Everett is the author of nearly twenty novels, three collections of short fiction, and two volumes of poetry. Among his novels are Assumption (2011), I Am Not Sidney Poitier (2009), The Water Cure (2008), Wounded, Glyph, Erasure, American Desert, For Her Dark Skin, Zulus, Cutting Lisa, Watershed, and God's Country. Swimming Swimmers Swimming is his newest collection of poems (2011). He is a Distinguished Professor of English at USC. He was awarded the 2002 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for his novel Erasure (recently re-published), a satiric indictment of race and publishing in America.

Steve Erickson is the author of eight novels: Days Between Stations, Rubicon Beach, Tours of the Black Clock, Arc d'X, Amnesiascope, The Sea Came in at Midnight, Our Ecstatic Days and Zeroville. He also has written two books about American politics and popular culture, Leap Year and American Nomad. Over the years he has written for Esquire, Rolling Stone, Bookforum, Salon, the L.A. Weekly, the New York Times Magazine and other publications, and his work has been widely anthologized. Currently he's the film critic for Los Angeles magazine and editor of the literary journal Black Clock, published by the California Institute of the Arts where he teaches in the MFA Writing Program. He is the recipient of many awards.

Brighde Mullins is an award-winning playwright and poet. Her work includes Monkey in the Middle; Fire Eater and Pathological Venus. Current theatre projects include a commission by the Pioneer Theatre Company and a site-specific piece with the Imaginists Theatre at Ann Hamilton's Tower. She is currently the Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at U.S.C and is a recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Fellowship in Literature.