In 2020, the year of the Women’s Vote Centennial, and in March, the month of International Women’s Day, the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors is proud to be celebrating seven award-winning women authors. The Festival will feature Madeline Miller, author of the bestselling novels Circe and The Song of Achilles as well as six other acclaimed authors — Yangsze Choo, Lydia Fitzpatrick, Myla Goldberg, Laila Lalami, Chia-Chia Lin, and Etaf Rum. The event will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center.
The PFWA brings together a group of diverse, well-published authors to discuss their work with enthusiastic readers whose love of literature inspired the event. The festival provides a stimulating setting where authors and guests interact with each other. Authors are available to answer questions and sign their books for guests. Continental breakfast and lunch are served. Individual open seating tickets will be available for purchase on the website on January 15, 2020.
The PFWA is sponsored by the Pasadena Literary Alliance, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. The Pasadena Festival of Women Authors recognizes the accomplishments of women authors, raises money for literary programs at community non-profits, and advances community dialogue about literature. From its inception in 2009 the PFWA has raised more than $375,000 for literary programs in the community and has presented 60 women authors to the community. The 2019 the grantees were Pasadena City College: Writer-in-Residence & Summer Creative Writing Academy, Pasadena Senior Center: The Lifetime Learning Masters Series, Pasadena Public Library: One City, One Story Program, PEN America: Emerging Writers Stipend, and WriteGirl: Writing Workshops for High School Girl.
In 2017, to meet demand, the PLA established the Open Book Series, a year-round literary salon that provides opportunities for the community to enjoy authors of all kinds — both established and emerging, national and local, men and women, writers of fiction and nonfiction — in settings that complement the author’s work or background and allow for engagement with the attendees.
Visit www.pasadenafestivalofwomenauthors.org to purchase tickets and for more information.
Author Biographies & Works
Set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, The Night Tiger tells of a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers. Dazzling and propulsive, The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old myths and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. The Night Tiger was a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and an instant New York Times bestseller. Choo’s first novel, The Ghost Bride, was a New York Times bestseller and is currently in production as a Netflix Original series.
Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. After graduating from Harvard University, she worked as a management consultant and at a startup before embarking on a career as a writer. She lives in California.
“A work of incredible beauty… Astoundingly captivating and striking… A transcendent story of courage and connection.” — Booklist (starred review).
In Lights All Night Long, fifteen-year-old Russian exchange student, Ilya, arrives in America consumed by the need to prove his older brother innocent of the three murders he is accused of back home. With the help of an American girl, who has secrets of her own, he fights to clear his brother’s name and find the real killer. Fitzpatrick’s work has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, One Story, Glimmer Train and elsewhere.
Fitzpatrick received her BA from Princeton University and her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award for short fiction. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fiction fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and a recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. She lives in Los Angeles.
“A luminous debut. . . Fitzpatrick does so many things right in Lights All Night Long, it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel.” — Los Angeles Times. “The bonds of family and homeland—new and old—are tested in this sexy and pensive thriller.”— The Observer.
From the award-winning author of Bee Season, comes Feast Your Eyes, a gripping portrait of a woman who is fiercely devoted to her art and her motherhood and who pays a price for both. Told entirely in catalog notes for a photography show, this novel is both stylistically ingenious and emotionally rich. Feast Your Eyes is a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. Goldberg is the author of three other novels, including The False Friend, Wickett’s Remedy, and Bee Season, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, and a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Barnes & Noble
Discover Award. Goldberg is a recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant and a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow.
Goldberg was raised in Maryland and received her BA from Oberlin College. She writes and teaches in Brooklyn, New York.
“A daringly inventive parable of female creativity and motherhood.” — O, the Oprah Magazine. “Goldberg offers a searching consideration of the way that the identities and perceptions of a female artist shift over time.” — The New Yorker.
The Other Americans tells a tale of the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story. The novel is built along the fault lines of our national identity and asks who gets to call themselves an American? The Other Americans was named one of Time Magazine’s Best Fiction of 2019. Lalami is the author of three other novels, including The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Pulitzer Prize.
Lalami was born in Rabat, Morocco, and educated there and in Great Britain and the United States. She writes the “Between the Lines” column for The Nation magazine and is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times. The recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she teaches at the University of California at Riverside.
“Powerful…Fascinating…Heartbreaking…It matters desperately…” — New York Times Book Review. “Lalami may be our finest contemporary chronicler of immigration and its discontents.” The Washington Post.
In The Unpassing, a Taiwanese immigrant family living in Alaska is overwhelmed by a death in the family and the spectre of total financial ruin. Emotionally raw and subtly suspenseful, The Unpassing is a deeply felt family saga that dismisses the American dream for a harsher, but ultimately more profound, reality. The Unpassing was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Southern Living, The Rumpus, The Millions, Literary Hub and Electric Literature.
Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to America with her family at a young age. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received the Henfield Prize. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, Zyzzyva, The Missouri Review and other journals. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area
In Circe, the much-anticipated follow-up to her bestselling novel, The Song of Achilles, Madeleine Miller recasts the infamous sorceress of Greek myth as a hero in her own right. Circe was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 and selected as a Book of the Year by Time Magazine, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and Refinery29. Miller’s first novel, The Song of Achilles, won the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Miller grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She earned her BA and MA at Brown University and studied at the University of Chicago and Yale School of Drama. She has taught and tutored Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for more than fifteen years. She lives outside Philadelphia.
“Circe, [is] a bold and subversive retelling of the goddess’s story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope.” — New York Times. “So vivid, so layered, you could get lost in it . . . this is just great storytelling.” — NPR’s Here & Now.
“. . . a singularly vast and captivating novel, beautifully written in free-flowing prose that quietly disarms . . .” — New York Times Book Review. “The Unpassing is a powerful debut from an author to watch.” — San Francisco Chronicle.
In her debut novel, A Woman Is No Man, Etaf Rum offers an intimate glimpse into the controlling and closed cultural world inhabited by three generations of conservative Arab American women. A Woman is No Man is a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. A Woman is No Man has been named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Marie Claire Best Women’s Fiction of 2019 and an Electric Lit 20 Best Debuts of the First Half of 2019.
Rum was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Palestinian parents. She has an MA in American and British Literature as well as undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and English Composition from North Carolina State University. Rum runs the Instagram account @bookandbeans, is a Book of the Month Club Ambassador, where she writes about her favorite books each month. She lives and teaches in North Carolina.
“Garnering justified comparisons to Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns… Etaf Rum’s debut novel is a must-read about women mustering up the bravery to follow their inner voice.” — Refinery29.