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  • Date: October 18
  • Time: 7:30pm - 7:30pm PT

Hugo Literary Series: People Will Talk — Richard Bausch, Roxane Gay, Kary Wayson, and John Osebold

Purchase an individual ticket or series pass (for all five Lit Series events at a discounted price) at Stranger Tickets.

Get up to date on your gossip and come see fiction writer and Guggenheim Fellowship winner Richard Bausch; highly anthologized author of the forthcoming An Untamed State Roxane Gay; Hugo writer-in-residence and poet Kary Wayson; and Seattle musician John Osebold read and play music on the theme “People Will Talk.”

The bar will be open, and books will be for sale. The event will take place in the theater, where we have a second bar.


It used to be that gossip at its best became urban legend and at its worst stirred a small blip on Page Six, but in the Internet age, the rumor mill now churns hearsay into fact faster than spin doctors can operate. A Facebook post circulates a screen cap of a CNN report stating Tupac is alive and well strolling Beverly Hills, but few see the fine print—“You just got April Fooled!” An email claiming KFC uses “mutant organisms” in their fried chicken goes viral, and everyone wonders exactly what is so finger-licking good. A tweet falsely identifies a missing Brown University student as one of the Boston Bombing suspects, and his grieving family receives more death threats than apologies. In all these cases, fact was ultimately parsed from fiction, but the redactions traveled slowly, casting a shadow not even truth can outshine. So, what is it about rumors, whether of Obama’s birthplace or the state of Lindsay Lohan’s psyche, that spur us toward obsession? And what does it say about us that we care so deeply?


Bausch is the author of eleven novels and eight collections of stories, including the novels (most recently) Hello To The Cannibals, Thanksgiving Night, and Peace; and the recent story collections Wives & Lovers and Something Is Out There. His novel The Last Good Time was made into a feature-length film, and Peace won the 2009 Dayton Literary Prize. His short stories have been widely published and anthologized in publications such as The New Yorker, the Best American Short Stories, and Harper’s. He has won two National Magazine Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund Writer’s Award, the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The 2004 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story and the 2013 John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence. He edits the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.

Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOOON, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her novel An Untamed State will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014. 

Wayson was born in Hanover, NH and grew up in Portland, OR, Yonkers, NY, Minneapolis, MN, Sioux City, IA and Winnebago, NE. Her first book, American Husband, was published in 2009 by the Ohio State University Press. Her poems have been published in Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Nation, Narrative, FIELD, and others, including The Best American Poetry 2007 and the 2010 Pushcart Prize anthology. A two-time The Stranger “Genius Award” nominee, Kary lives and works in Seattle.

Osebold writes and performs, sometimes under the name Jose Bold. He makes music of all kinds, theater of all kinds, lit of all kinds, splices ephemeral film together, records sounds, and barfs out jokes on social media. After the Lit Series, he’ll be singing with Degenerate Art Ensemble for Kronos Quartet’s 40th anniversary show, then performing with his sketch comedy group The Habit at the Bathhouse Theatre. His hair is long.