Reading: Alex Behr and Jenny Forrester

Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland authors Alex Behr and Jenny Forrester.

Alex Behr will read from her story collection, Planet Grim, from 7.13 Books.

A woman muses on the influential men in her life, and the enduring significance of white pants. A grisly trial for a murder in which a son witnessed his mother’s stabbing forces a juror to come to terms with the absence of her missionary son. A young father tries to resist lusting after his adoptive son’s birth mother at a Mother’s Day picnic. A widow tends to her mother-in-law’s garden to ameliorate their shared grief.

In twenty-eight stories that draw blood while making you laugh, Alex Behr’s debut collection Planet Grim is a vivid, unsettling portrait of the gritty fringes of San Francisco and Portland, where complicated characters long for connection just out of reach. Behr is an idiosyncratic, unpredictable prose stylist with an edge and willingness to cut to the bone that makes her writing truly original.

The Rumpus included Planet Grim in its fall list of What to Read When You Need Some Good News.

Alex Behr has taught creative writing residencies at Portland, OR, high schools through Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools program. Alex’s work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Tin HouseSalonNailedMuthaBitchManifest-Station, and other publications. She has performed nationwide in the comedy show Mortified. She can be found online at and on Twitter @alex_behr.

Jenny Forrester will read from her memoir, Narrow River, Wide Sky, from Hawthorne Books.

In the vein of The Liar's Club and The Glass Castle, Jenny Forrester's memoir perfectly captures both place and a community situated on the Colorado Plateau between slot canyons and rattlesnakes, where she grew up with her mother and brother in a single-wide trailer proudly displaying an American flag. Forrester's powerfully eloquent story reveals a rural small town comprising God-fearing Republicans, ranchers, Mormons, and Native Americans. With sensitivity and resilience, Forrester navigates feelings of isolation, an abusive boyfriend, sexual assault, and a failed college attempt to forge a separate identity. As young adults, after their mother's accidental death, Forrester and her brother are left with an increasingly strained relationship that becomes a microcosm of America's political landscape. Narrow River, Wide Sky is a breathtaking, determinedly truthful story about one woman's search for identity within the mythology of family and America itself.

Jenny Forrester has been published in a number of print and online publications including Seattle's City Arts Magazine, Nailed Magazine, Hip Mama, The Literary Kitchen, Indiana Review, and Columbia Journal. Her work is included in the Listen to Your Mother anthology, published by Putnam. She curates the Unchaste Readers Series.

Event date: 
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
7834 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219
Narrow River, Wide Sky: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780997068351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hawthorne Books - May 2nd, 2017