Some authors are inspired to start in their craft by conversations with inspiring leaders, thinkers and storytellers.
One started writing because she didn’t have anyone to talk to, except for her typewriter.
“I know that my parents got tired of hearing what sounded like a machine gun coming from my room all the time,” said Cris Mazza, author of 15 published books. The keyboard has remained her constant friend.
Mazza will talk about her path to becoming a writer and read a selection from her most recently published work at the final installment of the American Book Review Fall Reading Series Nov. 19 at the University of Houston-Victoria. Mazza will speak at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium in University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.
Her works include 10 novels, four collections of stories and a collection of personal essays. A prominent post-feminist writer, she also edited “Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction” (1995) and “Chick-Lit 2 (No Chick Vics)” (1996), two anthologies of women’s fiction that altered the literary landscape in the mid-1990s.
For the last 15 years, she has taught novel writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Critics have described her work at “literary sitcoms from hell.”
She’ll be reading from her latest book, “Trickle-Down Timeline.” Set in the 1980s, the book deals with topics such as sex, economic difficulties and relationships, and how we remember all of them.
“People need to come face to face with who they really are,” she said. “If I could bottom line it, that would be it.”
Rather than a work of pop culture nostalgia, the book chronicles 1980s nostalgia “for people who had nothing to consume in the consumer era,” she said.
Her newest novel, “Various Men Who Knew us as Girls,” will be released this spring.
“Cris Mazza is one of my heroes,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, editor and publisher of the American Book Review and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “She is one of contemporary American fiction’s most distinctive and fearless voices. I’m thrilled that she will be taking part in our reading series.”
Based at UHV, ABR is an internationally distributed literary publication that champions quality works by small presses. Its staff organizes two reading series annually – one in the fall and one in the spring – that bring nationally known authors to the main UHV campus.
While in Victoria, the authors attend roundtable discussions with UHV faculty and students, make classroom visits to area schools, give lectures open to the community, and go to receptions hosted by Friends of ABR patrons. Past speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Oshinsky, author and Iranian refugee Farnoosh Moshiri, Chicana novelist Ana Castillo and American Book Award recipient Graciela Limon.
For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call ABR Managing Editor Charles Alcorn at 361-570-4100 or go to www.americanbookreview.org.