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Literary Escape at Canyon Ranch 2023

Join book group guru Julie Robinson and Award Winning author Susan Straight for an intimate weekend focused on books and reading at Canyon Ranch in Tucson.

Enjoy this exclusive book club weekend, which will explore The Social Novel in book club discussions, lectures and author talks., You will enjoy the practically limitless pleasures and possibilities of Canyon Ranch health resort, a favorite of savvy travelers for more than 30 years which has been extensively remodeled. Don’t miss this incredible weekend getaway, inclusive of hiking and yoga, at the loveliest time of the year in scenic Southern Arizona!

The “novel of purpose” had its roots in 19th century literature. Charles Dickens is one of the most famous novelists known as a reformer. We will explore the work of several classic novelists of the time and also discuss contemporary works by our featured author Susan Straight as well as other book club books. As with all of our Escapes you have the opportunity to participate at any level that makes your book club weekend perfect for you.

Susan Straight, author of MECCA and Highwire Moon

Susan Straight’s new novel, MECCA, is set in southern California. She was born in Riverside, California, where she still lives with her family. Her memoir, In the Country of Women (Catapult, 2020), was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and CodeSwitch, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and a Finalist for the Clara Johnson Prize for Women’s Literature. Her novel Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the National Book Award. She has received the Edgar Prize for Best Mystery Story, the O Henry Prize, and the Lannan Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, The Believer, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle and others.

Her instagram is @susan.straight. Her website is www.SusanStraight.com.

Book Club Discussions and Lectures will be led by Julie Robinson and Elizabeth Crawford.

Julie Robinson, CEO/Founder of Literary Affairs

Julie Robinson is, above all, a lover of literature. As the founder of and creative force behind Literary Affairs, Julie’s passion has influenced thousands of readers across Los Angeles. Through her company’s work facilitating over 50 monthly book clubs all over the city, and via an ongoing series of high caliber cultural and educational experiences, author events and interviews, Julie’s specialty has been taking her clients “beyond the book.” Now, two decades into this dream career, Julie has also taken Literary Affairs to a new level. Her humble, one-woman operation is now a successful, women-run and operated business with a social justice bent. Her team of highly qualified women brings book clubs into even more homes, and she produces “Beyond the Book,” a monthly podcast of in-depth interviews with acclaimed and best-selling authors. To inspire a new generation of readers and writers, Julie created a nonprofit, the Literary Affairs Medici Foundation. The organization partners with The National Book Foundation to offer BookUp, an after-school reading program for middle school kids in South Central LA. It also presents an annual $5000 Medici Book Club Prize for the Best Book Club Book of the year, recognizing the role literature plays in creating empathy. The award is part of her prestigious yearly writers festival, The Beverly Hills Literary Escape. Julie serves on the advisory board of The Council of the Library Foundation. Her most recent passion has been to use her platform to raise awareness for another cause that’s incredibly close to her: mental health awareness. She amplifies the voices of authors writing on the subject, and hosts events that allow both authors and community members to discuss the stigma of mental health issues.

Elizabeth Crawford, Book Club Facilitator

Elizabeth Crawford is a teacher, scholar, and PhD candidate in English at UCLA, where she studies modernism and narrative theory in the 20th-century novel. She has received numerous accolades for her work with undergraduates and recently was awarded the prestigious UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. When she’s not raving about Virginia Woolf, she’s digging into her other academic interests, including Anglo-Saxon literature, narrative representations of time, and the history and contemporary politics of the ISBN. Her current project examines how writers use — and resist — the aerial point of view in early 20th-century fiction.

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