Beyond Baroque: 681 Venice Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90291 Free Event
Free Event

Each installment of the NEW Series features original work commissioned from three author on a single theme.

This fall Beyond Baroque turns fifty. That should be an occasion for celebration. But it also means we’re not as young as we used to be. Perhaps we’re a bit anxious about that fact, because we’ve commissioned three superb writers to create new writing on the theme of the MIDLIFE CRISIS. Acclaimed writers Héctor Tobar, Dana Johnson and Brendan Constantine perform brand new work that has never been published or presented elswehere.

In keeping with our theme, we're also hosting a makeover party to celebrate the completion of a number of changes to our bookstore and lobby. Join us after the reading for a special reception marking a "new" Beyond Baroque.


Héctor Tobar is the Los Angeles-born author of five books, including the novels The Tattooed Soldier and The Barbarian Nurseries. His non-fiction Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of Thirty-Three Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle that Set Them Free, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize: it was also a New York Times bestseller and adapted into the film The 33The Barbarian Nurseries was a New York Times Notable Book and won the California Book Award Gold Medal for fiction. Tobar's fiction has also appeared in Zyzzyva and in Best American Short Stories 2016. He earned his MFA in Fiction from the University of California, Irvine, and has taught writing at Pomona College and the University of Oregon. Currently, he is an associate professor of Chicano/Latino Studies and English at UC Irvine. His other books include the nonfiction Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States, and the novel The Tattooed Soldier. His books have been translated into ten languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Mandarin. As a journalist, he was a foreign correspondent with the Los Angeles Times in Buenos Aires and Mexico City, and a part of the reporting team that earned a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Tobar has also been an op-ed writer for the New York Times and a contributor to The New YorkerSmithsonian and National Geographic. He is the son of Guatemalan immigrants. Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish his fifth book, a novel, next year.

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in The Paris ReviewCallalooThe Iowa Review and Huizache, among others, and anthologized in Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of InterestShaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women, and California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Brendan Constantine's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly, Best American Poetry, and Poem-a-Day, among other journals. His most recent collection is ‘Dementia, My Darling’ (2016, Red Hen Press). New work is forthcoming in Tin House and Reservoir. He has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School and offers classes to hospitals, foster homes, veterans, and the elderly.

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