Susan Straight on the Vast Unknown of California
On the New Season of Authors in the Tent
Authors in the Tent is a professionally filmed series of interviews with established and emerging authors conducted in a tent Ona Russell purchased during the pandemic. Inspired by Boccaccio’s Decameron and the 1001 Arabian Nights, the tent—elemental, ancient, and ubiquitous—serves as a magical backdrop for literary conversation.
On the third episode of the new fourth season, Ona Russell talks with Susan Straight, author of Mecca.
This series is in support of the charities Tents-4-Homeless, PATH, Alpha Project, and VVSD.
Ona Russell holds a PhD in literature from UC San Diego where she also taught for many years. She is author of three award-winning historical mysteries and the recently released Son of Nothingness: A Novel of Appearances.
Susan Straight is the author of several novels, including the national bestseller Highwire Moon, a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Million Nightingales, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as the memoir In the Country of Women, named a best book of 2019 by NPR and Real Simple. She is the recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Short Story, the O. Henry Prize, the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, Harper’s, and elsewhere. She was born and continues to live in Riverside, California, with her family, where she serves as Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.