Posted on July 19, 2023 at 6:00 am
For more than twenty years, Spokane is Reading has hosted an annual community-wide read in which the greater Spokane community is invited to read and discuss a common book together and hear from the author. This year’s selection is Kim Fu’s short-story collection, Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, winner of the 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award.
This fall, Kim Fu will be in Spokane and Spokane Valley to read and discuss her work at two free public events. After the reading and discussion, she will be available to answer questions from the audience and sign books.
Spokane Is Reading: Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century
For teens & adults
SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY
22 N Herald Rd (Spokane Valley)
Thursday, Oct 26, 1pm
Doors open at 12:15pm. Free parking is available in the library’s parking lot.
906 W Main Ave (Spokane)
Thursday, Oct 26, 7pm
Doors open at 6:15pm. Paid parking is available in the library’s underground lot. Metered parking is available on the streets until 7pm (and free after 7pm).
Copies of Lesser Known Monsters and Fu’s other books will be available for purchase from Auntie’s Bookstore at both events.
When visiting one of our libraries, you may also find it waiting for you on the Books-to-Go display, which has copies of popular titles that you can grab and check out.
If you love stories about monsters and tales that blur the line between fantasy and reality, you may want to read a few from this booklist, picked as companion reads for the 2023 Spokane Is Reading selection.
In the twelve unforgettable tales of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, the strange is made familiar and the familiar strange, such that a girl growing wings on her legs feels like an ordinary rite of passage, while a bug-infested house becomes an impossible, Kafkaesque nightmare. Each story builds a new world all its own: a group of children steal a haunted doll; a runaway bride encounters a sea monster; a vendor sells toy boxes that seemingly control the passage of time; an insomniac is seduced by the Sandman. These visions of modern life wrestle with themes of death and technological consequence, guilt, and sexuality and unmask the contradictions that exist within all of us.
Mesmerizing, electric, and wholly original, Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century blurs the boundaries of the real and fantastic, offering intricate and surprising insights into human nature.
Kim Fu is the author of two novels, a collection of poetry, and most recently, the story collection Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, winner of the 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award and a finalist for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Fu has been longlisted for the 2023 Joyce Carol Oates Prize for mid-career authors.
Fu’s first novel, For Today I Am a Boy, won the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and the Lambda Literary Awards, as well as a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her second novel, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards and the Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. Fu’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Granta, the Atlantic, BOMB, Hazlitt, and the TLS. Fu lives in Seattle, Washington.
Brian Vander Veen is the Managing Librarian at North Spokane Library. He stumbled into the library world after realizing that having a PhD in medieval English probably wasn’t going to pay the bills. In his free time, Brian can usually be found working in the garden, reading graphic novels and speculative fiction, playing tabletop roleplaying games, or sampling local craft brews.