SMC Fall Literary Series Kicks Off Sept. 10

Eclectic Series Covers Everything from Mystery to Torture

Santa Monica College will kick off its eclectic and intriguing fall Literary Series Sept. 10 with "The Gardener Did It: Clues to Los Angeles History in the Mas Arai Mysteries," by Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara.

"The Gardener Did It" is the first of four lectures in the series. All lectures are free and are held at 11:15 a.m. in Humanities & Social Science Lecture Hall 165 on the SMC main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd. For further information, call (310) 434-4303 or go to

The full line-up is:

* Sept. 10: "The Gardener Did It: Clues to Los Angeles History in the Mas Arai Mysteries." Hirahara, the author of the popular mystery series featuring a feisty Japanese American gardener, is a former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper and teaches bilingual writing workshops for older Americans through Poets and Writers.

* Oct. 6: "Los Angeles: Social Conflict, Social Change and the Narrative of Unity," by Hector Tobar, author of two books and a weekly columnist and former national and foreign correspondent at the Los Angeles Times.

* Nov. 5: "When It's Torture," by Percival Everett, USC English professor, award-winning novelist and a prolific author of fiction whose works include "Glyph" and "The Water Cure." In "The Water Cure," the novel's protagonist, Ishmael Kidder, has had a successful career as a romance novelist, but after the death of his daughter his life takes a dark turn. In a remote cabin in New Mexico, Kidder has imprisoned a man he believes to be his daughter's killer. The book's title refers to one of the torture techniques Kidder uses on the man, namely waterboarding.

* Dec. 1: "The Pursuit of Truth in Writing Fiction," by Christopher Meeks, an SMC English professor and novelist who has also published two collections of short fiction and whose play, "Who Lives?," was recently produced in Los Angeles.

Currently in its seventh year, the SMC literary series has brought to campus such acclaimed authors as Khaled Hosseini, author of the best-selling "The Kite Runner," and Audrey Niffenegger, author of the bestselling "Time Traveler's Wife," which has just been released as a major motion picture.

The series is sponsored by the SMC Associates, a private organization that funds speakers and special programs on campus; the SMC English Department; and the SMC English-as-a-Second Language Department.

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