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Authors in Conversation at Public Library


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By Lookout Staff

February 14, 2024 -- Two emerging Black novelists will engage in a dialogue about the art of fiction next Wednesday at the Santa Monica Public Library.

As part of the library's "Authors in Conversation" series, Rasheed Newson will discuss his debut novel, "My Government Means to Kill Me," with fellow novelist Laura Warrell at 6 p.m. in the Main Library’s Multipurpose Room.

A finalist for the prestigious Lambda Literary Prize in 2023, the novel is "shining a vivid light onto underappreciated aspects of our history through the life of a gay Black teenager," the New York Times wrote.

"It's a fast-paced coming-of-age story that skillfully combines real world events and figures from 1980s New York City with the fictional life of his protagonist to create an engrossing and educational novel," event organizers said.

A television drama writer and executive producer, Newson has worked on the drama series "Bel-Air," "The Chi" and "Narcos," among others.

Warrell, who was named a “Writer to Watch” by Publishers Weekly, won praise for her debut novel ""Sweet Soft, Plenty Rhythm" in 2022.

The novel is "about the perennial temptations of dangerous love, told by the women who love Circus Palmer -- trumpet player and old-school ladies’ man -- as they ultimately discover the power of their own voices," according to the publisher's blurb.

The New York Times Book Review called it “elegant, unexpected and . . . unforgettable.”

Warrell taught Creative Writing and Literature through the Emerging Voices program at PEN America Los Angeles, Writing Workshops Los Angeles, the Berklee College of Music, and other academic institutions in Los Angeles and Boston.

All Library programs are free and open to the public. Parking is available underneath the Main Library.

Several bus lines and the Metro E line stop nearby, and there are bike racks. The MLK Auditorium is wheelchair accessible. Call (310) 458-8600 to request additional accommodations.

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