You could say that this month’s stories were “ripped from the headlines,” but that wouldn’t begin to describe the power and contemporary impact that these two authors have captured in the novels presented in April at the auditorium at CLARA.
Imagine you’re a mother, living in North Carolina, and without warning, or reason, your home is subjected to a police raid. This actually happened to poet and novelist Devi Laskar, who fictionalized the event in her debut novel The Atlas of Reds and Blues. The mother in Laskar’s novel takes it one step further: she resists, with horrific consequences.
Poet, novelist and playwright Fred D’Aguiar also uses fact as the springboard for fiction in Children of Paradise, a re-imagining of the Jonestown horror of 1978, where nine hundred people, many of them from Oakland, died after drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid as directed by their leader, James Jones.
Excerpts from these two searingly powerful novels will be read by Sacramento actors Angel Rodriguez and Bridggett Bess.