First Loves Debut Novelists: Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag, & Sunil Yapa

Libby Lewis Photography

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Sherman Alexie Loves

First Loves Debut Novelists: Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag, & Sunil Yapa

Past Event: Thursday, May 11, 2017

At Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

Celebrated writer Sherman Alexie interviews three debut novelists about their work.

This event is part of the Sherman Alexie Loves Series.

This series is in partnership with novelist, poet, and playwright Sherman Alexie. He has published 25 books, including The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and War Dances. His most recent work is a children’s book called Thunder Boy Jr.

Patricia Park is the author of the novel Re Jane, named Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Book Review, Best Books of 2015 by the American Library Association, and currently in development for a television series with Paramount and TV Land. She has written for the New York TimesGuardianSalon, and others. She received her BA from Swarthmore and MFA from Boston University and is the recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, Sewanee, and the Center for Fiction. Starting this fall she will join American University as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. She was born and raised in New York City, where she lives now.

Ariel Schrag is a graphic artist and novelist. She is the author of the debut novel ADAM (2014) and graphic memoirs Awkward and Definition, Potential, and Likewise which chronicle her four years at Berkeley High School. Potential was nominated for an Eisner Award and Likewise was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Schrag was also a writer for Season Two of the HBO series How To Make It In America and a writer for Seasons Three and Four of the Showtime series The L Word. She has written comics and articles for the New York Times Book Review, Cosmopolitan, The New York Observer, and more. Schrag graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a degree in English Literature. Since 2004 she has taught the course Graphic Novel Workshop in the writing department at The New School. She has also taught classes at Brown University, New York University, Butler University, Williams College, and JW3 in London. Schrag was a 2012 Radar Lab and Yaddo fellow. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Sunil Yapa is the author of his debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist (2016). He is the recipient of the 2010 Asian American Short Story Award, sponsored by Hyphen Magazine and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York, and has received scholarships to The New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, The Norman Mailer Writers’ Center in Provincetown and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, The MarginsHyphen Magazine, The Tottenville Review, Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification, and others. The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including time living in Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as, London, Montreal, and New York City.

Selected Works:

Patricia Park
Re Jane (2015)

Ariel Schrag
ADAM (2014)
Likewise (2009)
Potential (1997)
Definition (1996)
Awkward (1995)

Sunil Yapa
Your Heart Is A Muscle the Size of Your Fist (2016)


Patricia Park
Ariel Schrag
Sunil Yapa
New York Magazine Unexpected Summer Love
Trans Literature for the Masse
Park talks about her Korean American spin take on Jane Erye

Event Details

Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

1119 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

Town Hall Seattle is centrally located at 1119 8th Ave, on the corner of 8th and Seneca. Their venue is served by frequent bus routes, is near access to light rail stations, and close to a number of parking options nearby. Please see their website for more details.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing losses, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. To make a request for open captioning, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: for in-person events at Town Hall Seattle, we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure captioning services. 

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video for online events. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Town Hall Seattle has a hearing loop system, so you can switch your T-coil hearing aid to telecoil to have the stage’s microphones transmitted directly to your hearing aids. To pick up a headset, check in with any Town Hall usher when you arrive.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process and we will contact you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at Town Hall Seattle, which is fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Town Hall Seattle recommends that visitors use the 8th Avenue Entrance for events in the Great Hall, and elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. The venue has all-gender, ADA-accessible restrooms on the lobby and Forum level. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details. For more details on accessibility features at Town Hall, click here.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

All-gender restrooms are available.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at [email protected], or Monday-Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to If you would like to make accessibility arrangements you do not see listed here, please contact our box office or select “Other Accommodations” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will contact you to confirm details.