Arts & Entertainment

The 4th annual Pasadena Festival of Women Authors to be Held on Saturday, March 3

The 4th Annual Pasadena Festival of Women Authors will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012. This prestigious event, featuring four award-winning Southern California authors – Heidi Durrow, Fannie Flagg, Michelle Huneven and Susan Straight – will take place at the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 East Holly Street, Pasadena, Calif. (9:30AM – 1:30PM). Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of A Woman of Independent Means, will serve as moderator.

The Pasadena Festival of Women Authors brings together a group of diverse and well-published Southern California female authors to discuss their work with a group of enthusiastic people whose love of literature inspired the event. The festival provides an intimate setting where authors and guests will be able to interact with each other and authors will be available to answer questions and sign their books for guests.

Heidi Durrow’s first book, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, was a New York Times best seller. It was hailed by the Washington Post as one of the Best Novels of 2010 and a Top 10 Book of 2010 by The Oregonian. The city of Portland recently chose the book as their “One City One Book” selection. Heidi also received the Barbara Kingsolver Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change. Heidi is a graduate of Stanford University, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and Yale Law School. She is the co-host of an award-winning weekly podcast, “Mixed Chicks Chat,” the founder and producer of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and an occasional essay contributor to National Public Radio. She is the daughter of an African American GI and a Danish mother. Ebony Magazine recently named her as one of its Power 100 Leaders of 2010.

Fannie Flagg was first known as a television personality and wrote and appeared on the classic series, “Candid Camera.” Her first novel, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, was on the New York Times best seller list for 10 weeks. Her second novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, was on the prestigious list for 36 weeks and was made into a hit motion picture starring Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates. Fannie also wrote the film’s screenplay which was nominated for an Academy Award, a Writers Guild of America Award and it won the Scripter Award for best screenplay of the year. Her other books include: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, Standing in the Rainbow, A Redbird Christmas and Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven. Her newest book is titled I Still Dream About You. Fannie happily splits her time between California and Alabama.

Michelle Huneven received an M.F.A. at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and her first published story won a G.E. Younger Writers Award and was republished in Harper’s Magazine. Round Rock, her first novel, was a New York Times Notable Book and one of the LA Times Best 100 Books of the year. Her second, Jamesland, was also a New York Times Notable Book, a Book Sense pick and a winner of the Southern California Booksellers Award for Fiction. Blame, her third novel, was nominated for a 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, and all three of her novels have been nominated for Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. Michelle was also an award-winning restaurant critic and food writer for the LA Times and the LA Weekly and has also written journalism for the New York Times, Gourmet, O and many other periodicals. She currently lives with her husband in Altadena, where she was born and raised.

Susan Straight’s latest novel, Take One Candle Light a Room, was named one of the best novels of 2010 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Kirkus. Her novel, Highwire Moon, was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award, and her book, A Million Nightingales, was a 2006 finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. Her short story, “The Golden Gopher,” – a chapter in the book Los Angeles Noir – won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. Susan has published stories and essays in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, Salon, Zoetrope, McSweeneys, The Believer and Black Clock among others. She has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” She currently resides in Riverside, Calif. and teaches creative writing at the University of California there.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Pasadena Senior Center. In the last three years, the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors has made more than $60,000.00 in donations to benefit the programs and services there. Tickets for the festival are $85 per person and include lunch. Reserved tables of 10 are $850. Visit www.PasadenaFestivalofWomenAuthors.org for more information.

January 12, 2012

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