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September 20, 2016: Tayari Jones, Christopher Cerf, Katherine Vaz, Leslie Jamison, & Charles Bock

Fabulous faculty from the Disquiet International Literary Program, held each year in Lisbon, Portugal, took the stage this month.

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Tayari Jones

Tayari read from Silver Sparrow, her third novel, about an unusual extended family living in Atlanta during the 70s and 80s. Replete with truisms (some untrustworthy), bits of history (from Viet Nam to Al Green), and deftly drawn characters, it's a heart-wrenching coming of age tale. In the end, the pieces of the characters' lives settle, but not necessarily in the perfect patterns one might wish for.

Her cocktail was the Silver Secret, with gin, St. Germain, peach, prosecco,with a strawberry garnish.

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Leslie Jamison

Leslie shared a harrowing tale of endurance, pain, and motivation from her thought-provoking essay collection, The Empathy Exams.

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Charles Bock

Charles read from Alice and Oliver, a love story. In this excerpt, we learn about Alice before her diagnosis. We understand, as the entire novel teaches, that a person is not defined by her disease.

Katherine Vaz 

Katherine read from a work in progress, such an honor for us, from this incredible author. Her writing recalls the beauty of Portugal, and often contains a touch of the magical. This particular piece brought us a part of the country's tragic history.

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Christopher Cerf / Spin-glish

Chris entertained us with some definitions from Spin-glish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language. In that spirit, his literary cocktail was called the Tired & Emotional. Not sure what we mean? Look it up in Spin-glish!

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Scenes from the audience

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