BRIAN LEUNG reads from his novel IVY VS. DOGG

Ivy vs. Dogg (C&R Press)

Teenage Ivy Simmons shocks her small town by daring to challenge hometown boy-hero, Jimmy Doggins, in a showdown election for the title of Junior Mr. Mayor. Does anyone win?

Teenage Ivy Simmons has a longstanding rivalry with Jimmy, “Dogg,” Doggins, high school tennis star, and hometown hero. Their sparring comes to a head when the town of Mudlick’s annual Jr. Mr. Mayor election is announced and Ivy becomes the first female ever to run. Mudlick’s busybody leaders, known as “the committee” do not approve, especially when Ivy reveals that she is pregnant. Displeased with the public debate over what Ivy should do about her unborn child, reclusive matriarch, Abigail Colton, displays a lifelike topiary girl on her front lawn, enchanting all of Mudlick to the point where they fear for the life of this “girl” when Colton also rolls out a topiary of a giant squid. Between this and the election, emotions run high, squeezing Ivy and Dogg from all sides and forcing them to make the most adult decision of their lives.

Praise for Ivy vs. Dogg

“Like Tom Perrotta’s Election except told by a “committee” of over-invested small-town biddies, Brian Leung’s sharp-eyed novel is satire of suburban politics and helicopter parenting, lampooning the rules we follow to keep people in their place. As two fiesty, tender-hearted teenagers compete for the title of “Junior Mr. Mayor” — and defy everyone’s expectations, including your own — their delightfully star-crossed campaigns reveal to us the fault lines in community and the courage it takes to be both candidate and human being.”–Austin Bunn, author of The Brink and the film Kill Your Darlings

Leung invents, in Mudlick, an American small town that is weird all over, yet filled with characters both human and humane.  The absurd collides with the quotidian.  And a fabulous chaos ensues.  We couldn’t ask for a better tour guide here.  Just watch out for the giant squid.–Adam McOmber, author of My House Gathers Desires, The White Forest and This New & Poisonous Air.

"Ivy and Dogg turn the stereotypes of established high school tropes—the popular kid and the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, the athlete and the nerd—inside out. Despite their allotted stations in life, they yearn for redemption and fresh starts. Ivy and Dogg teach the adults the value of decency in an atmosphere of fiery and destructive rhetoric, and in the process become the adults while their adult handlers act like spoiled children."--Nancy Powell

Brian Leung, also the author of World Famous Love ActsLost menTake me Home, is a past recipient of the Lambda Literary outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Other honors include the Asian-American Literary Award, Willa Award, and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Brian’s fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in StoryOcean State ReviewNumero CinqCrazyhorseGrainGulf CoastKinesisThe Barcelona ReviewMid-American ReviewSalt HillGulf StreamRiver CityRunesThe Bellingham ReviewHyphenVelocityThe Connecticut ReviewBlithe House QuarterlyIndiana ReviewCrab Orchard Review, and Crowd. He is the Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University.

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027