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Author Talks: Summer Tales with Julie Otsuka

Join us for our Summer Tales Author Talk with guest speaker Julie Otsuka as she discusses her award-winning novels and more with a moderator, Nick Allred. The event will be held on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 4pm EST. Sponsored by the Rutgers–New Brunswick Libraries and Rutgers–New Brunswick Summer Session.

Summer Tales 2021 featured Julie Otsuka’s Diem Perdidi , a compelling, heart-wrenching portrait of an elderly woman’s character and life story as she begins to lose her memory. Read the synopsis and discussion points, along with more about the author in the Summer Tales LibGuide.

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Related posts: Julie Otsuka

Finding Humor for Emotional Strength

August 11, 2021 | By | Cook Reads,Little Free Library,Summer Tales

In Diem Perdidi by Julie Otsuka, the narrator recounts her experiences dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s progression. Alzheimer’s is an unforgiving, unpredictable disease. Periods of lucidity are contrasted with periods of confusion. Memories are conflated in a cruel time-traveling continuum, as short-term memory is often erased, but long-term memories remain. As with all terminal illnesses, … Read More

Translating Stories to Make Sense

July 28, 2021 | By | Bibliotherapy,Cook Reads,Summer Tales

If this story doesn’t speak to you, you are lucky. If this story doesn’t speak to you yet, it will. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia. A progressive brain disease, Alzheimer’s actually starts decades before the first signs appear. Symptoms … Read More

Related posts: Author Talks  series

Chatting with Carmen Maria Machado

Motherhood, genre, and form took center stage during the first session of Summer Tales when we examined the story “Eight Bites” by Carmen Maria Machado. Machado is the author of Her Body and Other Parties, in which the SummerTales story selection “Eight Bites” is published; and In the Dream House, a memoir on her experience … Read More

Carmen Maria Machado, Between Persons

A heads-up: This post, like Machado’s memoir, discusses intimate-partner abuse. There are two distinctive formal features of Carmen Maria Machado’s In The Dream House: A Memoir that are apparent from early on. The first is that this memoir is fractured into a series of short forays, usually just one or two pages, that approach the central … Read More

Confessions of a Part-Time Interviewer

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting poet Natalie Díaz for a Zoom reading and discussion, and a few weeks ago in late June we had author Carmen Maria Machado for a similar event. I had the particular pleasure of being the one to talk to both, asking them questions drawn from our preregistered … Read More

Why Read Banned Books

In a recent New York Times opinion article entitled Banning My Book Won’t Protect Your Child Carmen Maria Machado shared that parents in a school district demanded the removal of her book In the Dream House: A Memoir and several others from district reading lists for high school English class book clubs. Banned or challenged books … Read More

In the Dream House and the Importance of Naming

Please note: This post discusses abusive relationships. If you or someone you know needs support regarding domestic or dating violence, please go to The National Domestic Violence Hotline or Rutgers Counseling Services. Carmen Marie Machado (the first author being examined in our Summer Tales program) doesn’t pull punches when exposing the grotesque realities of humanity. … Read More

An Evening with Natalie Díaz

Natalie Díaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She is also the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. Díaz is also a well-decorated poet with a Pulitzer Prize for her most recent Postcolonial Love Poem, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the … Read More

Natalie Díaz and the Mojave Language

While Natalie Díaz is known internationally for her poetry, she is also passionate about preserving the Mojave language. Díaz’s work with the Mojave language comes from both a desire to preserve and to better understand it. The Poetry Foundation’s biography of Díaz includes a quote from the poet explaining how language impacts her work. She … Read More