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Author Steve Tomasula kicks off UHV's ABR Fall Reading Series

By Carolina Astrain
Sept. 10, 2012 at 4:10 a.m.
Updated Sept. 11, 2012 at 4:11 a.m.

To read Tomasula's "WeKIA", click here.


• WHAT: Steve Tomasula, American Book Review Fall 2012 Reading Series

• WHEN: Noon Thursday

• WHERE: Alcorn Auditorium, 3007 N. Ben Wilson

• COST: Free


Paisley Rekdal - Sept. 27

Rekdal is an award-winning author of poetry and essays who often explores the topic of biracialism.

Mat Johnson - Oct. 10

Johnson is author of the novels "Pym," "Drop" and "Hunting in Harlem;" the nonfiction novella "The Great Negro Plot;" and the comic books "Incognegro" and "Dark Rain." He frequently writes about race and culture issues.

Norma Cantú - Nov. 8

Cantú publishes pieces about a number of academic subjects, as well as poetry and fiction. She specializes in Latina and Latino literatures, Chicana and Chicano literatures, border studies, folklore, women's studies and creative writing.

Jake Adam York - Nov. 29

York is the author of three books of poems: "Murder Ballads," winner of the 2005 Elixir Press Prize in Poetry; "A Murmuration of Starlings," winner of the 2009 Colorado Book Award in Poetry; and "Persons Unknown."

The trick behind reading Steve Tomasula's writing is letting yourself get lost in it.

His stream-of-conscious style of writing has a way of keeping you enraptured in a scene without really asking too many questions about where or when anything is happening.

Tomasula will give a reading in the University of Houston-Victoria's Alcorn Auditorium on Thursday as part of the American Book Review's Fall 2012 Reading Series.

The associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame has written novels, short fiction, criticism and essays, including "The Book of Portraiture," "VAS: An Opera in Flatland," and most recently, "IN&OZ."

The hardcover version of the novel is 144 pages long and the digital version is available through the Kindle store.

Although it is a novel in name, it hardly feels like one. Each chapter, which varies from five to 20 pages on the iPhone, reads like poetry.

Tomasula said he likes to stay away from a plot-driven structure in his writing and chooses to focus on the self-actualization of his characters.

"We all have our own little rat path," Tomasula said. "They all sort of have their own epiphany moments."

The author credited the poet Gertrude Stein as one of his major influences and Ernest Hemingway as one of his least favorite writers.

"It's such a sparse style," Tomasula said. "Nobody talks what way."

More recently, Tomasula has been working on a piece called "WeKIA," which is about a trip he took with his wife to IKEA for the first time.

"This IKEA is just one node of a global network," Tomasula said. "I used the IKEA store as a metaphor for a system that makes people what they are. It gets to the question of who we are."



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