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Writers and artists routinely reckon with anxiety and loathing as part of their creative process. Author and comedian Sara Benincasa, writer and illustrator MariNaomi, and novelist Shanthi Sekaran, in conversation with writer and literary organizer Michelle Tea, discuss with humor and honesty the role fear has played in their work and their creative process. Be part of a larger discussion of how we learn to manage the stress of daily life.

Sara Benincasa

Sara Benincasa is a comedian and the author of Real Artists Have Day Jobs (William Morrow 2016) as well as the books DC Trip  (Adaptive 2015); Great (HarperTeen 2014); and Agorafabulous: Dispatches From My Bedroom (William Morrow 2012). She also wrote a very silly book called Tim Kaine Is Your Nice Dad (2016). She is currently adapting DC Trip as a film with producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa (Little Miss Sunshine); Agorafabulous! for TV with Diablo Cody; and Great for TV with Muse Entertainment.


MariNaomi is the award-winning author and illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, 2014), Turning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016), I Thought You Hated Me (Retrofit Comics, 2016), and Estrus Comics (self-published, 1998 to 2009). Her work has appeared in over sixty print publications and has been featured on numerous websites, such as The Rumpus, The Weeklings, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, Truth-out, XOJane, BuzzFeed, PEN America and more. She is the creator and curator of the Cartoonists of Color Database and the Queer Cartoonists Database.

Shanthi Sekaran

Shanthi Sekaran‘s new novel, Lucky Boy, was hailed by author Tom Barbash as “an ambitious, compassionate and intelligent book with new things to say on the timely subjects of mother-hood, fertility, class and identity.” She teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists’ Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She is the author of the novel The Prayer Room, and her work has appeared in Best New American Voices and Canteen, and online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine.

Michelle Tea

Author and literary organizer Michelle Tea is the author of ten books of memoir, fiction and poetry, most recently the speculative memoir Black Wave. Her award-winning memoir Valencia was made into a feature-length film with the help of 21 directors, including Jill Soloway, Cheryl Dunye and Silas Howard. She is the editor of Amethyst Editions, an imprint of Feminist Press. Her writing has appeared in Harpers, The Believer, n+1, Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, xoJane.com and many other print and web publications. She lives in Los Angeles.

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main image: Detail from cover of Turning Japanese: A Graphic Memoir by MariNaomi

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