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Powell's Books Presents David Biespiel in Conversation With David Naimon
In his new book, A PLACE OF EXODUS: HOME, MEMORY, AND TEXAS (Kelson), acclaimed writer David Biespiel tells the story of the rise and fall of his Jewish boyhood in Texas, and his search for the answer to his life’s central riddle: Are we ever done leaving home? Raised in the 1970s in Meyerland, the historic Jewish neighborhood of Houston, Biespiel explores the story of triumph and shame that changed his relationship to the world around him. With cinematic fluidity, he writes of his early years as a teenager who yearns for bold self-invention as he grapples with the enigmas of illness, death, love, and the meaning of faith. Growing up in a family devoted to Jewish identity, Biespiel comes under the tutelage of the head rabbi of the largest conservative congregation in North America. But after the rabbi kicks him out of the synagogue during a public quarrel, Biespiel leaves Texas and his religious upbringing behind. After a near-40-year exile, Biespiel returns to the world he left behind as a different person, to offer a moving meditation on the meaning of home, uncovering bittersweet realities of age, youth, and family with tenderness and devastating honesty. Biespiel will be joined in conversation by David Naimon, host of the literary radio show and podcast Between the Covers and coauthor of Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing.

Oct 8, 2020 06:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

David Biespiel
David Biespiel is a poet, memoirist, and critic. He is the author of eleven books, among them Republic Café, The Education of a Young Poet, The Book of Men and Women, A Long High Whistle, and Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces. A contributor to The New Republic, The New Yorker, and Slate, he has won a number of awards for his writing, including Lannan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Stegner fellowships, two Oregon Book Awards, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and he has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Balakian Award. He has taught at Stanford University, University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Wake Forest University. He is the founder of the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters and Poet-in- Residence at Oregon State University.
David Naimon
David Naimon's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Orion, Tin House, Boulevard, AGNI, Black Warrior Review and elsewhere. It has garnered a Pushcart prize, been reprinted in The Best Small Fictions, and cited in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. Naimon is the co-author, with Ursula K. Le Guin, of Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing which won the 2019 Locus Award in nonfiction and was a Hugo Award finalist. He lives in Portland, Oregon where he hosts the literary radio broadcast and podcast Between the Covers (whose archive can be found at: tinhouse.com/podcasts).