Cake Time (Red Hen Press)
Daring yet aimless, smart but slightly strange, Cake Time’s young female protagonist keeps making slippery choices, sliding into the dangerous space where curiosity melds with fear and desires turn into dirty messes. In “How Not to Have an Abortion,” the teenaged narrator looks for a ride from the clinic between her AP exams. In “Easy Target,” the now-college-grad agrees to go to a swingers party with a handsome stranger. A decade later, in “Glow,” she is suddenly confronted by the disturbing and thrilling fact of her lover’s secret daughter. Ultimately, this unflinching novel-in-stories grapples with urgent, timeless questions: why intelligent girls make terrible choices, where to negotiate a private self in an increasingly public world, and how to love madly without losing a sense of self.
Joining us will be Jim Ruland, Victoria Patterson, and Janice Lee.
Victoria Patterson is the author of the novel The Little Brother, which Vanity Fair called “a brutal, deeply empathetic, and emotionally wrenching examination of American male privilege and rape culture.” She is also the author of the novels The Peerless Four and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award and the Story Prize and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in South Pasadena, California with her family and teaches at Antioch University.
Jim Ruland is the co-author of My Damage with Keith Morris, founding member of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and OFF! (Da Capo 2016) and Giving the Finger with Scott Campbell Jr. of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch (Lyons Press 2014). He is also the author of the award-winning novel Forest of Fortune (Tyrus Books 2014) and the short story collection Big Lonesome (Gorsky Press 2005). Jim’s work has appeared in many publications, including The Believer, Esquire, Granta, Hobart, McSweeney’s, Mississippi Review, and Oxford American, and has received awards from Reader’s Digest and the National Endowment for the Arts. He runs the Southern California-based reading series Vermin on the Mount, now in its thirteenth year.
Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She is Editor of the #RECURRENT Series for Civil Coping Mechanisms, Founder and Executive Editor of Entropy, Assistant Editor at Fanzine, Contributor at HTMLGIANT, Co-Editor (w/ Maggie Nelson) of SUBLEVEL, the new online literary magazine based in the CalArts MFA Writing Program and CEO/Founder of POTG Design. She can be found online at http://janicel.com.
Praise for Cake Time
“Cake Time is a delicious indulgence. Treat yourself to its dark, seductive intimacies and savor the gritty sugar of its unsentimental humor.”—Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and Everything You Ever Wanted
“Siel Ju writes with refreshing candor about sexual appetite and the treacherous difficulty of finding love. There is cruelty in the search and tenderness and a lot of honest fumbling around. Cake Time is our time—a provocative debut.”—Noy Holland, author of BIRD
“Siel Ju’s Cake Time is sharply observed and wonderfully contemporary: these complex, flawed, and real characters live in our current world, with all its confusions and opportunity to connect—or disconnect. It’s about the perils and pleasures of intimacy, and its heroine feels as alive as you and I. A compelling and unflinching debut.”—Edan Lepucki, author of California
“Siel Ju’s Cake Time is an astonishing debut. Ju’s novel-in-stories is unsettling and fierce and full of loneliness, sadness, and humor. Her voice is so alive, and her candor—particularly about men and sex—is keenly astute, intimate, and startling. The prose is precise and poetic, and Los Angeles vibrates on the page. Wry and heartfelt and uniquely defiant, Cake Time is like a hard slap I didn’t expect or see coming.”—Victoria Patterson, author of The Little Brother and Drift
“Siel Ju’s stories are not boring because they are about not-boring things, like swingers’ parties and organic fashion company beauty pageants and high school sex and breakups and hook ups. Lots and lots of breakups and hook ups. I worried for Siel Ju reading about all these breakups and hook ups. Then I reminded myself these are fictions Siel Ju is telling us, and Siel Ju is fine. We are all fine, even after all these breakups and hook ups.”—Elizabeth Ellen, author of Fast Machine and Bridget Fonda
Siel Ju's novel-in-stories, Cake Time, is the winner of the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award and will be published in April 2017. Siel is also the author of two poetry chapbooks. Her stories and poems appear in ZYZZYVA, The Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), The Los Angeles Review, Denver Quarterly, and other places. She gives away a book a month at sielju.com.