Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meet Chris Cleave

Hello Readers,

It's the eve of Santa Monica Citywide Reads 2010. Our program officially begins tomorrow, Friday, February 12th, and our first book discussion takes place Saturday, February 13th at 11:00 a.m. at Cafe Bolivar, 1741 Ocean Park Blvd. We definitely encourage those of you who've read the book early to stop by and let us know what you think.

But, as we're just about to kick everything off, we thought it a great to time to introduce you to the author we're celebrating this year: Chris Cleave.

We're excited to be working with Chris, who has proven to be a charming and lovely fellow, and we very much look forward to his appearance at the Main Library on Saturday, February 20th. The program will kick off at 1:30 p.m. with a special staged reading of excerpts from Little Bee, performed by actresses Petal d'Avril Walker (as Little Bee) and Rosalyn Landor (as Sarah). Chris will follow at roughly 2:00 p.m. and he'll definitely be taking audience questions, followed by a book signing. Tickets for this program will be released at 12:30 p.m. the day of the event, and we expect them to go fast, so arrive early.

Back to that introduction of Chris. Born in London in 1973, Chris spent his childhood in Buckinghamshire and the West African nation of Cameroon. A graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he studied psychology, then ran through a series of smaller jobs. He eventually took up professional writing, first as a writer for London's Daily Telegraph, then on to his current weekly column on parenting for The Guardian newspaper. You can check out his column via his own website,, or directly on The Guardian's site,

In 2005, his first novel, Incendiary, was released to controversy and acclaim. The novel, about a London mother coping with loss of her husband and son in a terrorist bombing, went on to win numerous awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Book-of-the-Month Club First Fiction prize. He followed that up in 2008 with the novel The Other Hand, which was released in the U.S. in early 2009 as Little Bee.

We look forward to hearing what you have to say about this year's featured novel, and we hope you'll come out on the 20th to meet Chris and share your thoughts with him as well. Chris tells us that he looks forward to meeting all of you.

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