Susan Straight on "Mecca": A Novel
Susan Straight, New York Times best-selling author Héctor Tobar, and ICW Director William Deverell discuss Straight's novel Mecca that tells a story of the American West and all its injustice, history, and glory through the lens of California natives whose interwoven stories examine race, history, family, and destiny.
Susan Straight is the author of several novels, including the national bestseller Highwire Moon, a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Million Nightingales, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as the memoir In the Country of Women, named a best book of 2019 by NPR and Real Simple. She is the recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Short Story, the O. Henry Prize, the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, Harper's, and elsewhere. She was born and continues to live in Riverside, California, with her family, where she serves as Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.
Héctor Tobar is the Los Angeles-born author of five books, including the novels The Tattooed Soldier and The Last Great Road Bum. His nonfiction Deep Down Dark was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times bestseller. His books have been translated into 15 languages. His novel The Barbarian Nurseries won the California Book Award, and his fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories. He earned his MFA from UC Irvine. As a journalist, he has been a foreign correspondent and has written for the New York Times, The New Yorker, and others.