In the news business, they refer to the "Friday evening news dump" as the time when organizations — corporations, governments — release information that they don't want to get much attention. Friday evenings at 5 pm in the summer are generally when disgraced CEOs step down, when embarrassing statistics are released, when institutional shame is released into the world. Friday news dumps in August and December are especially notorious for this, because absolutely nobody pays attention to the news over the weekends in summer or the holiday season.
I have no idea why the Hugo House decided to release this good news on an August Friday news dump, so I'm bumping it up to Monday prime-time: The newest Hugo House Writer-in-Residence is Sonora Jha. Jha is a writer whose debut novel — Foreign — was published in English by Random House India. It has still not been released in the United States, though Elliott Bay Book Company often has imported editions of Foreign in stock through an exclusive deal.
Jha teaches journalism and media at Seattle University, and she's hard at work on her memoir, This Little Matter of Love, which she says is about "raising a boy (my son) to be a feminist, and the struggle of taking him to my estranged 'home' in India on the threshold of his departure for college." It is one of the more anticipated books by a Seattle author that I can think of, and Jha will be finishing her work on the book as the House's writer in residence. She will also be providing office hours at the House so that young and inexperienced authors can contact her for help with their own manuscript, and she will undoubtedly be appearing at quite a few Hugo House readings throughout her yearlong tenure as Writer in Residence. Jha has been an active member in the literary community, but she has still kept a fairly low profile; I can't wait for Seattle to meet her through this new position.
Additionally, the Hugo House announced their newest class of Made at Hugo Fellows, a great program that gives emerging Seattle writers access to the House's many education programs, a series of spotlight readings, and access to a comunity of like-minded peers. The Made at Hugo Program is one of the best things the Hugo House does. This year's recipients are:
...poet and writer Gabrielle Bates; queer transgender poet and performer Raye Stoeve; writer and memoirist Katie Lee Ellison, writer and co-founder of the annual small press and independent publishing festival APRIL, Willie Fitzgerald; multilingual poet Shankar Narayan; and writer Beryl Clark
Fitzgerald, of course, is familiar to SRoB readers both for his role with APRIL and for his terrific review of Roberto Calasso's The Art of the Publisher. We can't wait to meet the rest of these new faces at upcoming Hugo House events.