ALTA ASKS LIVE

Alta Asks Live

Deceit and Other Possibilities author Vanessa Hua will join Alta contributor Heather Scott Partington for a live online discussion on Monday, April 6 at 12:30 p.m. PST.

Deceit and Other Possibilities author Vanessa Hua will join Alta contributor Heather Scott Partington for a live online discussion on her latest book of short stories, writing about the immigrant experience, and how the literary community is banding together during a global pandemic. Tune in HERE on Monday, April 6 at 12:30 p.m. PST.

Buy the Book: Deceit and Other Possibilities

About the book and the author: 

Deceit and Other Possibilities is a short story collection that gives voice to immigrant families navigating a new America. Put another way: “model minorities behaving badly.”

Vanessa Hua is the author of A River of Stars and Deceit and Other Possibilities and a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, among other honors. A Bay Area native she teaches at the Writers’ Grotto, Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and elsewhere.

 

WATCH EPISODE 1: Bonnie Tsui

Why We Swim author Bonnie Tsui joined Alta contributor Heather Scott Partington for a live online discussion on why we take to the water, how her new book came together, and what it’s like launching a new title in the middle of a global crisis. 

Buy the book: Why We Swim

About the book and the author:

We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the 21st century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world.

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.

Bonnie Tsui lives, swims, and surfs in the Bay Area. A longtime contributor to the New York Times and California Sunday Magazine, she has been the recipient of the Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Young Alumna Award from Harvard University, the Lowell Thomas gold award, and a National Press Foundation fellowship. Her last book, American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods, won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and Best of 2009 Notable Bay Area Books selection. 

About the moderator: Heather Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic. She is the winner of an emerging critic fellowship from the National Book Critics Circle and the critic in residence for UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA program. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Los Angeles Review of Books among other publications. She lives in Elk Grove, California, with her husband and two kids.