Bookworks & the National Hispanic Cultural Center present a virtual talk with Elizabeth Gonzales James, author of Mona at Sea. Director of History and Literary Arts at NHCC Valerie Martinez moderates.
Mona is a Millennial perfectionist who fails upwards in the midst of the 2008 economic crisis. Despite her potential, and her top-of-her-class college degree, Mona finds herself unemployed, living with her parents, and adrift in life and love. Mona's the sort who says exactly the right thing at absolutely the wrong moments, seeing the world through a cynic's eyes. In the financial and social malaise of the early 2000s, Mona walks a knife's edge as she faces down unemployment, underemployment, the complexities of adult relationships, and the downward spiral of her parents' shattering marriage. The more Mona craves perfection and order, the more she is forced to see that it is never attainable. Mona's journey asks the question: When we find what gives our life meaning, will we be ready for it?
Before becoming a writer, Elizabeth Gonzalez James was a waitress, a pollster, an Avon lady, and an opera singer. Her short story, "Cosmic Blues," was a finalist in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers, and her stories and essays have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. She's attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Tin House Writers Workshop, and Lit Camp. She lives with her family in Oakland, California. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram: @unefemmejames