Featured Authors for May 3, 2014 Festival

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Anne Cherian

Born in Jamshedpur, India to an Indian father and a Jewish mother, Anne Cherian was educated at Bombay and
Bangalore Universities in India and at UC Berkeley where she received graduate degrees in journalism and comparative literature. She is the author of two acclaimed novels, A Good Indian Wife and The Invitation, whose main characters mirror her parents, only in reverse. Currently at work on her third novel, Ann now lives in Los Angeles and visits India regularly.


Nancy L. Cohen

Author, historian, and political commentator, Nancy is recognized as a leading expert on women and American politics.
Her most recent book, Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America (2012) explains how America’s attitudes toward the
sexual revolution have fueled our political wars for the past 40 years. She has appeared in television and on radio, and
her articles published in the LA Times, New Republic, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. Nancy lives in Los Angeles and is a
visiting fellow at Occidental College.

Linda Jean Hall

Linda's research in Ecuador examines how race, ethnicity and sociological theory attempt to explain the contributions of Afro-Ecuadorians to the building of Ecuadorian citizenship. In addition to scholarly papers in her doctoral research areas, she is the author of Three Rivers Crossed, a memoir set in Pittsburgh, PA. Linda is currently a doctoral candidate at UC Riverside and the recipient of the 2014-2017 University of CA Riverside Dean’s Prestigious Fellowship.

Valerie Hobbs

An author of numerous award-winning novels for young adults, How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadn’t Called You Back? won Valerie the designation of Flying Start author by Publishers Weekly (1996). She won the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein award for an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of children’s fiction and the Arizona Library Association Young Adult Author of the Year in 2003. Defiance, her most recent novel, was given the 2006 most distinguished fiction award by the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California.

Brenda Stevenson

Professor Stevenson’s scholarship focuses on the experiences of African-Americans, especially women, and the history
of slavery in the Atlantic World. In 1996, her Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South, won
the Gustavus Meyers Outstanding Book Prize. Her most recent book, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the L.A. Riots, offers fresh insights into an incident that sparked the cataclysmic events of the spring of 1992. Professor Stevenson teaches History at UCLA.


Verta Taylor

Professor of Sociology and an affiliated faculty member in Feminist Studies at UCSB, Verta teaches courses on gender
and sexuality, feminism, and social movements. She has published over 100 scholarly articles and is the author of 15 books and edited volumes, including The Marrying Kind? Debating Same-Sex Marriage within the Lesbian and Gay Movement (2013). Verta received the American Sociological Association’s Jessie Bernard Award in 2011 in recognition
of her lifetime of scholarship on women.

Chryss Yost

Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Chryss Yost is an editor, teacher, and award-winning author. Her first full-length volume of poetry will be released in Spring 2014. She is a strong believer in the ways poetry connects us to our own bodies
through the breath and heartbeat. She encourages her students to use traditional forms to express contemporary themes.
Her poems have been published internationally in journals including The Hudson Review, Solo, Askew, and Quarterly West.