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Author Scott Russell Sanders reads stories from 'Ordinary Wealth' (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
March 27, 2014 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated March 27, 2014 at 10:28 p.m.

"Think of stories as containers," said author Scott Russell Sanders on Thursday at the Unversity of Houston-Victoria's American Book Review Reading Series.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Domingo Martinez, American Book Review Reading Series

• WHEN: Noon April 24

• WHERE: Alcorn Auditorium, University of Houston-Victoria, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

A photograph of a grocery cart full of bicycle tire tubes illuminated the dark room as author Scott Russell Sanders read from his most recent works of fiction.

"My stories are not in a sense of what the picture actually means," Sanders, 68, said. "I have to create a story meant for it."

Sanders was at the University of Houston-Victoria on Thursday as part of the American Book Review Reading Series.

The reading heavily focused on "Ordinary Wealth," a book Sanders is developing in collaboration with Vermont photographer Peter Forbes.

Sanders shared a few slides and short fictional stories inspired by the images.

Mark Ward, UHV assistant professor of communication, applauded Sanders' use of multimedia elements in his storytelling.

"It appears you're embracing today's media tools," Ward said.

Sanders responded by saying collaborations with artist in other media are what keep him stimulated.

"I've worked with musicians, done a series of stage shows and written a libretto for a children's opera," Sanders said.

Lesharie Ray, UHV sophomore majoring in creative writing, said Sanders' reading gave her a new perspective on storytelling.

"It was very inspirational," Ray, 20, said. "Working with digital images and words - it's something I had never imagined before."

Victoria resident Peggy Titt, a frequent audience member at the ABR series, held up her copy of "A Private History of Awe" and asked Sanders to elaborate on his experiences writing after having grandchildren.

Sanders said the birth of his grandchildren made him more concerned about the future of the environment and the political landscape.

"Racism is still with us but declining; homophobia is still with us but declining; sexism is still with us but declining," Sanders said. "Our country is almost ungovernable at the national level. ... Our democracy is in great danger, and most Americans are still insulated from that."

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