SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Literary Arts Series

Introductions: Amor Towles

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director A few years ago, everyone I knew began telling me about a book they absolutely adored and that I simply must read. But when I learned the book was about a Count who spends 30 years in a hotel in Moscow, I was first skeptical, and then outright resistant. […]

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“cold hard marble truth,” by Wei-Wei Lee

It’s a mite hard to believe on nights like this that, somewhere, I have friends who aren’t dream-deep and snug in their beds, asleep, but may be dozing off in lecture with pens stuttering on notes; air conditioners humming furious against the peak afternoon heat. Harder still to believe, that while they scribble and we […]

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Zadie Smith on Sacredness, Vodka Martinis, Finding Joy, & Stealing Titles

“Across her career of five award-winning novels and two essay collections,” Executive Director Ruth Dickey began while introducing Zadie Smith, “The joy for us as readers is Smith’s enormous, beautiful, incisive intellect that roams widely around – from art to music, to considering the idea of joy, to reviewing books, to exploring families, to unpacking the […]

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Introductions: Zadie Smith

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director About Zadie Smith’s fourth novel, NW, the Washington Post wrote, “The impression of Smith’s casual brilliance is what constantly surprises.” And, indeed, across her career of five award-winning novels and two essay collections, the joy for us all as readers is Smith’s enormous, beautiful, incisive intellect that roams widely […]

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Introductions: Katherine Boo

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director When Bryan Stevenson was at SAL two years ago, he shared that one of the most important things that any of us can do to address inequality in our world is to get proximate, to get closer to poverty, to suffering, to injustice. Katherine Boo has spent her entire […]

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“Home and No Home,” by Draven Villwock-Taylor

Home and No Home There’s a person that can come home to a home with a light on the table and there’s someone that can come home to a home with a light on the balcony And there’s another person that can come home to a home with a chandelier on the ceiling but there’s […]

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Katherine Boo in Retrospect

By Danielle Palmer-Friedman Katherine Boo is not just a reporter—she’s a sponge. When she’s working on a story, she spends months, sometimes years, thoroughly documenting the lives of families living under extreme inequity. She meticulously records, never disregarding any detail for being too inconsequential. After Boo has gathered the histories, hopes, and abhorrences of the […]

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Barbara Kingsolver’s Promise of Openness

On Thursday, October 25, SAL crossed a top line off its Literary Arts bucket list—we were so lucky to have the singular Barbara Kingsolver on stage and in conversation. She spoke with Executive Director Ruth Dickey about everything that’s been on her mind lately, from the letters of Mary Treat, the female scientist and colleague […]

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Three Poems by Wei Wei Lee

dear sweet sister. A language can span the widest gaps – political, social, agewise or other. She’s pleasantly surprised and so am I, our words tripping, tumbling, spilling like a spring, like sweet, cold water, slaking the thirst for something we have no name for and soothing an ache we didn’t know existed. In this […]

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Required Reading: Viet Thanh Nguyen

As part of our Required Reading series, we share a list of three essential works from SAL’s featured writers. Up this time: Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar & author of The Sympathizer, Nothing Ever Dies, & The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen. In his recent New York Times opinion piece, Viet Thanh Nguyen—the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, […]

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