You are invited to enjoy an engaging afternoon on July 23 with best-selling novelist Janet Fitch and local, global essayist and novelist Pico Iyer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA). From Revolution to Inspiration: What Sets a Writer Alight discusses what inspires us, why art is more urgent than ever in our confused and polarized times, and which are the works that can bring us light and delight, while broadening our horizons.
Janet Fitch was born in Los Angeles, and as a third-generation native, she grew up in a family of voracious readers. She attended Reed College, where she studied history. She was particularly attracted to Russian history, and participated in a student exchange at Keele University where she majored in Russian Studies. She later decided that the aspects of history which peaked her interest were the story, the characters and the writing itself, and became a writer. Since then, Fitch has taught fiction writing at the University of Southern California’a Master of Professional Writing program, at UCLA Extension Writer’s Program, at the AROHO Residency at Ghost Ranch and at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers summer writing conference. Most recently, she lectured at the UCR Palm Desert Low Residency MFA, Antioch Low Residency MFA programs and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing and Publishing. After two novels set in Los Angeles, she’s deep into a book set during the Russian Revolution. Notable novels written by Fitch include Kicks, White Oleander and Paint it Black.
Pico Iyer was born in Oxford, England in 1957, and is the son of first generation immigrants from India. Both of his parents were prominent figures in the academic world, and Iyer followed in their footsteps by pursuing an education at Eton, Oxford and Harvard. He taught writing and literature at Harvard, and also wrote for Time regarding world affairs. Since then, he has travelled to several places, including North Korea, Easter Island, and many other intriguing places. Consequently, he is well known for his writings regarding traveling and intercultural crossings. Since 1992 he has been based in rural Japan with his longtime sweetheart, while spending part of each year in a Benedictine hermitage in California. Some of his famous works include The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Sun After Dark and Falling off the Map.
As part of SBMA’s Parallel Stories series, From Revolution to Inspiration: What Sets a Writer Alight aims to create a multidisciplinary lens through which to view the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions by pairing art and artists with award winning authors of regional, national, and international acclaim.
Come by the Mary Craig Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art at 2:30 p.m. to hear this dynamic duo discuss the importance of art and broadening our horizons in our contemporary world. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Museum Visitor Services desks. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is located at 1130 State St.