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Dallas novelist’s ‘LitNight’ builds a literary scene in the casual atmosphere of a nightclub

Dallas Morning News

Originally posted: December 7, 2018

Dallas novelist Sanderia Faye got the idea of celebrating literature in a bar when she attended Brooklyn’s Franklin Park Reading Series, which has hosted the likes of A.M. Homes, Jennifer Egan and Colson Whitehead.

Faye thought that same informal atmosphere at the monthly gathering of writers and readers could make literary fiction more approachable in Dallas, too. So in June, she founded LitNight at the Sandaga 813 nightclub in Exposition Park.

“It takes the stigma out of literary fiction,” says the author of Mourner’s Bench, which tells the story of an 8-year-old girl’s awakening in 1964 amid the civil rights movement. “You have this camaraderie between the authors but also with the audience. It’s a great environment.”

The next installment takes place the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 12. Admission is free.

Every second Wednesday of the month, Faye invites six fiction writers to each read for 15 minutes, leaving time at the end for anyone who signs up to share their work as well. Sometimes, there’s a loose theme, as at November’s roundup of “creative academics.”

The storytelling ranged in subject matter and style. University of North Texas professor and poet Bruce Bond turned the sonnet form upside down with a healthy skepticism, while professor Laura A. Kopchick of the University of Texas at Arlington brought humor to the tale of a suicidal bowling-alley pinsetter.

Two Southern Methodist University English professors also delivered great detail in their stories. Jacob Rubin read from his emotional Slate essay about a friend who died in a car accident. Greg Brownderville told a yarn about a deacon and the real-life blues legend Peetie Wheatstraw. READ MORE