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Lesbian Travel Author to Speak at Q Center

Q Center is pleased to host Gillian Kendall in an exciting evening of literature and cinema.

Gillian Kendall is a freelance writer, a reporter covering Victorian Parliament in Australia, and a manuscript reader for The Sun. She has lived a dual life, both as a high-school dropout with a PhD and the only American citizen in her British family. Gillian is the editor of the anthology Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing, author of the travel book Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet, and coauthor, with Mark O’Brien, of his autobiography How I Became a Human Being (all University of Wisconsin Press). Gillian Kendall is a freelance writer who lives in Melbourne, Australia.

She will be reading from her recently published Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing. She has brought together in Something to Declare a collection of impressionistic, literary travel essays that explore the sense of place and the pull of wanderlust, and reveal what happens when a traveler follows her heart. On these pages, established and emerging lesbian travel writers present accounts ranging from the poetic and internal to the exhilarating and life-altering.

Rather than simply reporting on places to stay, local fare, or politics, these women share personal stories of exploration and adventure. Lucy Jane Bledsoe and her partner camp out and negotiate their way through the Tierra del Fuego in “Fruits at the Border.” Lesléa Newman’s “Bashert” tells the retrospective journey of a college graduate undergoing a simultaneous awakening of her sexuality and artistic talent while working on a kibbutz in Israel. Lori Soderlind’s “Hot Springs, Montana” describes her return—with the help of a native woman—to the place in Montana where her family once made their home.

Whether set in Italian changing rooms, a Cadillac hearse, an ashram, a medieval labyrinth, a wheelchair, or a kayak, and whether amid Japanese typhoons, Caribbean rain, or rare Irish sunshine, Something to Declare offers stories of reflection, challenge, and growth.

Kendall will also be screening and discussing her coauthoring the autobiography of Mark O’Brien moved his arms and legs, at age six, for the last time. He came out of a thirty-day coma to find himself enclosed from the neck down in an iron lung, the machine in which he would live for much of the rest of his life. Mark O’Brien was the subject of the 1997 Academy Award–winning documentary Breathing Lessons.

More information:

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
7:00 – 8:30pm
Q Center, the NEW location
4115 N Mississippi Ave, Portland

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