Graduate Lecture Series: Janice Lee
September 27, 2021
The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies welcomes novelist Janice Lee to campus on Nov. 3rd, from 6:30-7:30 (PST), as part of the Graduate Lecture Series. Lee will read from her most recent novel, Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press).
Following her most recent publications Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015) and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), the writer’s seventh novel explores “the layered and complex fabric of how loss, abuse, trauma, and death have shaped their pasts, and how these pasts continue to haunt their present moments, a moment in which time seems to be running out,” according to Texas Review press.
PNCA faculty Brandon Shimoda wrote that Imagine a Death “confirms Lee as the descendant of Béla Tarr, of moss that breathes, then hibernates, then breathes, of spiders in the corners of houses, of ancestral museums that only open past midnight, and of the earliest forms of shamanic storytelling.”
Don’t miss this exciting event, presented by the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in Critical Studies. The conversation will be presented on PNCA LiveVideo, PNCA’s YouTube channel, free, and open to the public. All are welcome.
MORE ABOUT Imagine a Death:
In the face of a slow but impending apocalypse, what binds 3 seemingly divergent lives (a writer, a photographer, an old man), isn’t the commonality of a perceived future death, but the layered and complex fabric of how loss, abuse, trauma, and death have shaped their pasts, and how these pasts continue to haunt their present moments, a moment in which time seems to be running out. The writer, traumatized by the violent death of her mother when she was a child, lives alone with her dog and struggles to finish her book. The photographer, stunted by the death of his grandmother and caretaker, struggles to take a single picture and enters into a complicated relationship with the writer. The old man, facing his past in small doses, spends his time watching television and reorganizing the objects in his apartment to stay distracted from the deterioration around him.
A depiction of the cycles of abuse and trauma in a prolonged end-time, Imagine a Death examines the ways in which our pasts envelop us, the ways in which we justify horrible things in the name of survival, all of the horrible and beautiful things we are capable of when we are hurt and broken, and the animal (and plant) companions that ground us.
JANICE LEE is a Korean-American writer, editor, teacher, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 7 books of fiction, creative nonfiction, & poetry, most recently: Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021), and Separation Anxiety (CLASH Books, 2022).
She writes about interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the filmic long take, slowness, the apocalypse, architectural spaces, inherited trauma, and the Korean concept of han. In her work, Lee asks the question: How do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? Combining shamanic and energetic healing with plant & animal medicine, she teaches workshops on inherited trauma, healing, and writing. She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University.
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