Co-presented with the University of Pittsburgh Press, we are excited to welcome Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner, Ramona Reeves, to Alphabet City. In this reading, Ramona invites us into a world of humor, hustle, and human tenderness. Her debut collection, It Falls Gently All Around and Other Stories, introduces Babbie, a thrice-divorced former call girl, and Donnie, a sobriety-challenged trucker turned yogi. Along with their community of exes, in-laws, and coworkers, Babbie and Donnie share a longing to reforge their lives—a task easier said than done. Though works of fiction, the stories take place in Ramona’s very real hometown of Mobile, Alabama. The vulnerability that accompanies writing about one’s home shines through in this collection, bringing forth an earnestness that makes Ramona’s characters uniquely compelling. She manages to navigate the ever-looming specters of status, race, and class while maintaining a delightful comic sensibility. These stories remind us not only of the fallibility of being human, but of the magic as well.
This reading is followed by a moderated conversation with Elizabeth Graver, an audience Q&A, and a book signing.
You can purchase your own copy of Ramona’s book It Falls Gently All Around and Other Stories at City of Asylum Bookstore.
About the Author:
Ramona Reeves grew up in Alabama. She’s a winner of the Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, and she has been an AROHO fellow and a resident at the Kimmel Nelson Harding Center for the Arts. Her writing has appeared in The Southampton Review, New South, Bayou Magazine, Texas Highways, and others.
About the Moderator:
Elizabeth Graver was thrilled to judge the 2022 Drue Heinz Prize and select Ramona Reeves’ beautiful collection. Elizabeth’s forthcoming novel, Kantika (“song” in Ladino), was inspired by her grandmother, who was born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Istanbul and whose shape-shifting life journey took her to Spain, Cuba and finally New York. Kantika is due out in April 2023. Elizabeth’s fourth novel, The End of the Point, was long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction. Her other novels are Awake, The Honey Thief, and Unravelling. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Best American Essays. Her story collection, Have You Seen Me?, won the 1991 Drue Heinz Literature Prize.
About Your Visit:
The in-house restaurant 40 North will be closed, but a cash wine bar will be available.
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