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War Novel Subject of Reading at Santa Monica College


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By Lookout Staff

April 9, 2018 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will host a free reading next week featuring the authors of a new war novel set in Iraq.

Christopher Meeks, who teaches English at SMC, and film director Samuel Gonzalez, Jr, will read from “The Chords of War” on Tuesday, April 17 at 11:15 a.m. in Art 214 on SMC’s main campus, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

Authors Gonzalez and MeeksSamuel Gonzalez (left) and co-author Christopher Meeks (Courtesy SMC)

Based on Gonzalez’s service in the Iraq War in 2006 and 2007, the novel "focuses on a young punk rocker from Florida who, after being kicked out of his band, joins the U.S. Army to get some 'needed discipline,'” even organizers said.

Assigned to the front lines, he is changed by his friend's traumatic death and forms a band for a memorial concert that "goes on to bigger things."

“The Chords of War” is a finalist for an INDIE at Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards.

Gonzalez's directorial debut “Railway Spine,” the story of three young soldiers in the Vietnam War, will premiere on Netflix. Gonzalez teaches film directing at the University of North Carolina in Raleigh.

Gonzalez met his co-author at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where Meeks teaches English and creative writing.

Meeks has published four previous novels, two award-winning short story collections and a play, “Who Lives?” which has been produced in Los Angeles.

The reading is part of the Spring Literary Series at SMC’s English Department.

Street parking is restricted around the SMC main campus, and attendees are encouraged to arrive via the Expo line, the bus, or a ride-sharing service.

For a map of SMC’s main campus, see:

For more information, please call Hari Vishwanadha at 310-434-4242.


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