Liz Prato combines lyricism, research and humor to explore her role as a white tourist in a seemingly paradisiacal land that has been largely formed and destroyed by white outsiders. Hawaiian history, pop culture, and contemporary affairs are masterfully woven with her personal narrative of loss and survival in linked essays, offering unique insight into how the touristic ideal of Hawai‘i came to be, and what Hawai‘i is at its core. Prato also wrote Baby’s on Fire (Press 53, 2015). Her writing is in The Rumpus, Baltimore Review, Salon and many more. She is editor-at-large for Forest Avenue Press and she teaches in Portland and at literary festivals across the US.
As a farm girl in eastern Oregon, feeding bottles to bummer lambs and babysitting her little sister, Jackie Shannon Hollis expected to become a mother someday. Then she meets Bill, the man of her dreams—except he doesn’t want children. Told in short nonlinear chapters, This Particular Happiness explores the fracturing of female identity as Shannon Hollis questions her childless decision, navigates her roles as daughter and wife and sister and friend, and ultimately learns to listen to her own heart. This debut memoir is about what we keep and what we abandon to make space in our lives for love.
Jackie Shannon Hollis, a lifelong Oregonian, resides with her husband in a home her friends call the treehouse. Her education and work as a counselor also pushed her to hold up the mirror to her own self. In addition to thinking she would be a mother, she once dreamed of being a June Taylor dancer or a racecar driver. Her short stories and essays have been published in The Sun, Slice, Inkwell, High Desert Journal, Rosebud, and other publications.
Prato and Hollis will both be doing short readings from their books and then discussing what it's like to write a memoir, being a female author, not having children -- some main themes from both books.