Jaclyn Watterson + Michael Shou-Yung Shum: Reading
This is the first time Ventriloquisms, Jaclyn Watterson's collection of fiction and horror pieces, has been published in a single book! Previously, portions of her work had been published in The Collagist, Birkensnake, Your Impossible Voice, failbetter, and other journals. In February of 2017, Willow Spring Books/Eastern Washington University announced Jaclyn as a winner of Spokane's 2016 Short Fiction Prize.
"Watterson is completely unafraid of the visceral, of decay, of violation, of transgressive laughter and of the profane, and with her mastery of diction and seemingly unlimited register, she makes all of those things weridly sing." —Tim Parrish, author of Fear and What Follows, The Jumper, and Red Stick Men
Jacklyn is left-handed, vegetarian, and of choleric temperament. She gardens in fair weather on a small balcony and makes her home with novelist (a reading partner for this event!) Michael Shou-Yung Shum and several feline companions. More of her short publications can be found here.
Michael Shou-Yung Shum's Queen of Spades "revamps the classic Pushkin fable of the same name, transplanted to a mysterious Seattle-area casino populated by a pit boss with six months to live, a dealer obsessing over the mysterious methods of an elderly customer known as the Countess, and a recovering gambler who finds herself trapped in a cultish twelve-step program. With a breathtaking climax that rivals the best Hong Kong gambling movies, Michael Shou-Yung Shum’s debut novel delivers the thrilling highs and lows that come when we cede control of our futures to the roll of the dice and the turn of a card" (Forest Avenue Press).
“A magical debut—literally. This tale is both spare and sprawling, gritty and otherworldly, both an homage to the complex psychology of gambling and a cautionary tale for those watching from the rail. A ridiculously satisfying read.” —Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and Songs of Willow Frost
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Michael eventually found himself dealing poker in a dead-end casino in Lake Stevens, Washington. Two doctorates bookend this strange turn of events: the first in Psychology from Northwestern, and the second in English from University of Tennessee. Along the way, Michael spent a dozen years in Chicago, touring the country as a rave DJ. He now writes and resides with his partner, Jaclyn Watterson, and three cats.
"Michael Shou-Yung Shum's Queen of Spades is a remarkable debut by an enormously talented young writer who has produced a literary delight that circles the dead center of a very dangerous pleasure--casino gambling.