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Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

"How to Set Yourself on Fire" Book Talk

"How to Set Yourself on Fire" Book Talk


Event Date:
Sunday, August 12 2018

What is the event about?

Every month the Women's Museum of California features a woman author who will read from or perform their work and engage in dialogues with audience members. Discussions can center on their latest project, their writing inspiration and process, and the challenges of being a woman writer. With the commitment to bring diverse voices and a variety of stories from local and visiting authors, the series will include both published and unpublished works from writers well known, unknown, and all the places in between.

This month the Women's Museum welcomes author Julia Dixon Evans who will be discussing her latest book, How To Set Yourself On Fire. 

Tickets are $5

Purchase Tickets Here

About the Author

Julia Dixon Evans is the author of the novel How to Set Yourself on Fire (Dzanc Books, 2018). Her work can be found or is forthcoming in McSweeney's, Paper Darts, New York Tyrant / Tyrant Books, Barrelhouse, San Diego CityBeat, and elsewhere. She is Senior Columns Editor for The Coil, an imprint of Alternating Currents Press, and is Nonfiction Editor for Noble / Gas Qrtrly. She lives in San Diego and is host of Last Exit, a brand new reading and workshop series. More at juliadixonevans.com.

About the Book

Sheila’s life is built of little thievings. Adrift in her mid-thirties, she sleeps in fragments, ditches her temp jobs, eavesdrops on her neighbor’s Skype calls, and keeps a stolen letter in her nightstand, penned by a UPS driver she barely knows. Her mother is stifling and her father is a bad memory. Her only friends are her mysterious, slovenly neighbor Vinnie and his daughter Torrey, a quirky twelve-year-old coping with a recent tragedy.

When her grandmother Rosamond dies, Sheila inherits a box of secret love letters from Harold C. Carr―a man who is not her grandfather. In spite of herself, Sheila gets caught up in the legacy of the affair, piecing together her grandmother’s past and forging bonds with Torrey and Vinnie as intense and fragile as the crumbling pages in Rosamond’s shoebox.

As they get closer to unraveling the truth, Sheila grows almost as obsessed with the letters as the man who wrote them. Somewhere, there’s an answering stack of letters―written in Rosamond’s hand―and Sheila can’t stop until she uncovers the rest of the story. Threaded with wry humor and the ache of love lost or left behind, How to Set Yourself on Fire establishes Julia Dixon Evans as a rising talent in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Lindsay Hunter.