George Saunders in the Forest At Night

March 14, 2017, by March 6th, George Saunders made his third appearance with the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, in order to celebrate a first—his only novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, just debuted #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

To tour the book, Saunders has partnered with local actors in different cities to stage readings of the text. He borrowed performers from Houston’s own Alley Theatre—an experience he compared to driving a Lamborghini—for a scene in a graveyard haunted by two of his characters. Appropriately enough, the reading shared the stage with an eerie woodland set for the theater’s current production, Let the Right One In.  and Director of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program Alex Parsons interviewed Saunders, whose humane wit set the tone for the evening. “We’re just a couple of guys in the forest at night,” he said, settling into a chair wedged between the scenery. Continue reading

Another Country, Near and Far: Henríquez and James Read in H-Town

April 28, 2015, by

RM3_7327Once again, I am running late, headlights mocking me as I creep up 59.  But then, a break, and I fly to Louisiana Street and head to a restaurant for Inprint’s Books & Bellinis, a young professionals mixer, before the Inprint reading.  My Multicultural Literature students are coming tonight, too.  We are all excited: we do not know these writers reading tonight.

What I mean is that we don’t know them yet.

I meet some new friends—or writers I know from Facebook–in person, and let me tell you, in person is better.  Two of my friends win books at the party and I feel happy for them:  what is better than a new book, by a new writer, that you have never read?

Well, not much.

I walk with my friend Elizabeth to The Wortham Center and see my students.  They look so grown up to me—we have read a lot of books together.  Some of them are graduating in May.  I am not sure if I am ready for it, not sure if I am ready for them to emigrate from the benevolent despotism of my classroom to The Next Big Thing.  No wonder people stay in college forever.  There are worse countries to visit, hang around, linger.  Everyone migrates somewhere; even the suburbs of Houston seem like independent states sometimes, each a new country, with languages that I cannot recognize at times.  That is because so many people from so many different countries come to Houston:  it is ever changing, kaleidoscopic, never boring. Continue reading

Mat Johnson talks about his upcoming interview with George Saunders

January 21, 2014, by

saunders1On Monday we are thrilled to be presenting George Saunders as part of the 2013/2014 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Tickets for his reading sold out very quickly and those who don’t have tickets are kicking themselves for not buying tickets sooner. So what is it about George Saunders that makes him for so many people the writer of the moment?

Mat JohnsonWe thought it would be best to ask Mat Johnson a few questions. Mat is the author of the novels Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem; the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot; and the graphic novels Incognegro and Dark Rain. He’s a faculty member at the UH Creative Writing Program and will be conducting the on-stage interview of Saunders on Monday night. A big thanks to Mat for taking the time to talk to us.

Inprint: What was the first thing you read by George Saunders?

Mat Johnson: Pastoralia. It was one of those books that everyone told me I should read because it was so brilliant, and I assumed by that they meant it’s boring-but-smart-enough-that-you-blame-yourself. I bought it, put it off for a while, then when I finally picked it up, I kicked myself for not doing so sooner. It is a great thing when something lives up to its hype, and even surpasses it. This book did that for me. Not just smart and original, but entertaining, engaging. Continue reading