Photos of Jac Jemc, Juan Martinez, Joe Meno and Luis Alberto Urrea

Panel: Small Odysseys

This panel discussion of the short story anthology Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Short Stories features contributors Luis Alberto Urrea, Juan Martinez, Joe Meno, and Jac Jemc.

Pre-signed books will be available for purchase.

About Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Short Stories:

A must-have for any lover of literature, Small Odysseys sweeps the reader into the landscape of the contemporary short story, featuring never-before-published works by many of our most preeminent authors as well as up-and-coming superstars.

On their journey through the book, readers will encounter long-ago movie stars, a town full of dandelions, and math lessons from Siri. They will attend karaoke night, hear a twenty-something slacker’s breathless report of his failed recruiting by the FBI, and travel with a father and son as they channel grief into running a neigh­borhood bakery truck. They will watch the Greek goddess Persephone encounter the end of the world, and witness another apocalypse through a series of advertise­ments for a touchless bidet. And finally, they will meet an aging loner who finds courage and resilience hidden in the most unexpected of places—the next generation.


About the speakers:

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction The Devil’s Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea is the bestselling author of the novels The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Into the Beautiful North, Queen of America, and most recently, The House of Broken Angels, as well as the story collection The Water Museum, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors.

Juan Martinez is the author of the short-story collection Best Worst American, winner of the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award. His work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, TriQuarterly, Conjunctions, Norton’s Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, and The Perpetual Engine of Hope: Stories Inspired by Iconic Vegas Photographs.

Joe Meno is the author of seven novels: Marvel and a Wonder, Office Girl, The Great Perhaps, The Boy Detective Fails, Hairstyles of the Damned, How the Hula Girl Sings, and Tender as Hellfire. His short story collections are Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir and Demons in the Spring. His short fiction has been published in McSweeney’s, One Story, Swink, LIT, TriQuarterly, Other Voices, and Gulf Coast, and have been broadcast on NPR.

Jac Jemc is the author of the novels Total Work of Art; My Only Wife, winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award; The Grip of It; and the short-story collections A Different Bed Every Time and False Bingo, winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction and finalist for the Story Prize. Jemc currently teaches creative writing at UC–San Diego.

The event is finished.


May 15 2022


4:30 pm - 5:20 pm


Preston Bradley Hall
Chicago Cultural Center


4:30 pm Central

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