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John Freeman and Friends
October 1, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Featuring work from Tommy Orange, Rabih Alameddine, Rachel Kushner, Mai Der Vang, Reyna Grande, and more, the sixth Freeman’s brilliantly showcases some of the world’s best writers grappling with the myths and reality of California today.
From immigration rights to climate change, California has been ground zero for the most crucial questions of our time. In a bravura essay, Rabih Alamdeddine remembers bartending during the worst years of the AIDS crisis. William T. Vollmann visits the Carr fire and discovers that gas masks are the new normal. Natalie Diaz describes growing up in the desert and remaking her body on the basketball court. Award-winning journalist Lauren Markham revisits her family’s tales of their arrival in a town built by a con man on stolen land. Karen Tei Yamashita tells of a Japanese-American man going to Hiroshima after the bomb dropped, writing letters home. Reyna Grande witnesses her mother never adapting after migrating from Mexico. Tommy Orange conjures a native man so lost and broke he’s either going to rob a bank or end his life—but love might rescue him. Rachel Kushner sings a hymn to the danger and beauty of cars. And since the Beat movement, California has also given birth to an explosion of poetry. New poems by Frank Bidart, Robin Coste Lewis, D.A. Powell, and recent poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera join newcomers Mai Der Vang and Javier Zamora in this investigation and celebration of California writing. Featuring new work from Héctor Tobar and Jennifer Egan, Oscar Villalon and Anthony Marra, Geoff Dyer and Elaine Castillo, Freeman’s: California will become a benchmark for California anthologies before and to come.
Praise for Freeman’s: California
“The work is wide-ranging, by newcomers and established talents: Xuan Juliana Wang, Elaine Castillo, Frank Bidart, D.A. Powell. It tells the story of California in pieces, which is the only way it can be told . . . The point—or one of them—is that, in California, one must learn to persevere. In this collection, California in all its glorious complexity comes vividly to life.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Freeman’s
“There’s an illustrious new literary journal in town . . . [with] fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by new voices and literary heavyweights . . . alike.” —Vogue.com
“A terrific anthology . . . Sure to become a classic in years to come.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Freeman draws from a global cache of talent . . . An expansive reading experience.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Looking at what John [Freeman] has put together in [his] first edition, I’m struck by how many names I don’t know and how diverse and global it is. My only disappointment is that it’s going to be twice a year—I think we need it 4 times a year.”—James Wood, Radio Boston
“Illuminating . . . Perfect reading for our ever-accelerating times.”—NPR’s Book Concierge
“Freeman’s is fresh, provocative, engrossing.”—BBC.com
“A first-rate anthology of bold, searching and personal writing by emerging and established writers.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“From the abstract to the literal, there is no shortage of provocative, thoughtful pieces here.”—Publishers Weekly
“Freeman’s sets a new standard for literary journals . . . It’s refreshing and full of nuanced stories that will linger with you long after you finish them.”—Chicago Literati
“[An] infinitely relatable and beautifully crafted prose and poetry anthology . . . Freeman has assembled a thoughtful and profoundly accessible collection of work that connects our vulnerabilities, our expectations and our hopes.”—Newcity Lit
“[A] thrillingly unique collection of voices.”—Toronto Star