For my thirtieth portrait for Portrait Gallery, I picked Seattle's own Lindy West. She has been everywhere lately: we reviewed her book, and Paul did this amazing interview with her. She was at Town Hall last night, but if you missed it, you can still catch her tonight at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park before she's off to events around the country and in the UK.
Seattle superstar Sherman Alexie is appearing next Tuesday at University Temple United Methodist Church, an event thrown by University Bookstore to present his new book Thunder Boy Jr. (And don't forget, Alexie will be showing up at Bumbershoot for a Seattle Review of Books event).
Today is the 152nd birthday of Nellie Bly, whose real name was Elizabeth Cochran Seaman. Bly was a journalist in the early 20th century, best known for an undercover investigation into the horrid conditions of mental hospitals, and for an around-the-world trip, to realize the fictional travels of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days (she did it in seventy-two). In 1922 she died, at fifty-seven, from pneumonia.
Nancy Rawles is appearing Sunday at the Columbia Branch of the Seattle Public Library to run a writing workshop on how to write dialog. Don't miss it!
Mal DeFleur will be appearing tonight as part of APRIL Festival's annual event "A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist and a Drag Queen". Miss DeFleur, the drag queen, will be appearing with EJ Koh, the poet, Sara Porkalob, the playwright, and Brian McGuigan, the novelist/memoirist. Doors open at 7:30. Tickets are still on sale, but this event does sell out, so act fast.
Christine Marie Larsen is off for the next few weeks, no doubt hand-assembling brushes from rarified animal hairs, gathering pigment from the mineraled rocks atop the highest peaks, and making paper from the miraculous cotton rags used to clean the paintings of the old masters in the Louvre.
In her absence, you can always see her work in our archive of the Portrait Gallery. She'll see you all in a few weeks.
Judy Blume is certainly somebody we don't need to say very much about, other than tomorrow is her birthday. Millions of kids learned about themselves, and their friends, neighbors, and siblings through her empathetic and big-hearted works. If she were here, we'd say thank you Judy Blume! We here at the Seattle Review of Books wish you a very happy birthday.
Here's a painting of Seattle's own beloved son Ivar Haglund. Folk singer, restauranteur, accidental port commissioner, trouble-maker, inveterate punner (he's listed as the "flounder" of his seafood restaurant, Ivar's), and of mixed Scandehoovian lineage (his mother was Norwegian and his father was Swedish, nearly a Capulet/Montague situation). On Sunday, come to the West Seattle branch of the Seattle Public Library to hear historian Paul Dorpat discuss Haglund's life and legacy.
A subject who needs no introduction, and whose name is widely known. Nichols, of course, played Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek series and movies. She was going to leave the role after the first season, but at a NAACP fundraiser, she met fan of the show who convinced her to stay on:
I looked across the way and there was the face of Dr. Martin Luther King smiling at me and walking toward me. And he started laughing. By the time he reached me, he said, yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan. I am that Trekkie.
And I was speechless. He complimented me on the manner in which I'd created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you. He said, no, no, no. No, you don't understand. We don't need you on the - to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for. So, I said to him, thank you so much. And I'm going to miss my co-stars.
And his face got very, very serious. And he said, what are you talking about? And I said, well, I told Gene just yesterday that I'm going to leave the show after the first year because I've been offered — and he stopped me and said: You cannot do that. And I was stunned. He said, don't you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He says, do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch. I was speechless.
On Sunday, join the downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library for the "Star Trek Geek Out". Costumes are encouraged.
Red Pine (also known as Bill Porter) will be appearing Saturday at The Elliott Bay Book Company, reading from his latest book Finding Them Gone: Visiting China’s Poets of the Past.
Ru Freeman appears tonight at the Elliott Bay Book Company to talk about Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine, which she edited. Appearing with her will be contributing writers Tess Gallagher, Peter Mountford, and Alice Rothchild.
Seattle's own best-known librarian appears Sunday, at Town Hall. Find out more about her on her website, hear her every week on KUOW, or watch her interview book people on the Seattle Channel (including our very own Paul Constant, back when he was somebody else's Paul Constant).