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The Clayman Institute Artist's Salon Featuring Valerie Miner

Tue February 9th 2021, 4:15 - 5:30pm
Event Sponsor
Clayman Institute for Gender Research
Zoom Event
The Clayman Institute Artist's Salon Featuring Valerie Miner

The Artist's Salon presents writer and artist-in-residence Valerie Miner. Celebrating the publication of her 15th book, Miner will talk about telling stories as well as read from her new book of short fiction.

Bread and Salt, Miner’s fifth collection of short stories, uses the metaphor of “salvage” to consider the reclamation of the natural environment, human relationships, and material objects. The stories are about forgiveness, reunion, rescue, repair, return and restoration as Miner reveals how family and friendship are enriched by differences in nationality, race, class, and gender.

Miner addresses real world themes of immigration, suicide, gun violence, state terrorism.  As they live in/travel in Tunisia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Turkey, France and the United States, characters consider individual agency in very local as well as global contexts.

RSVP here for Zoom event.

Bread and Salt is available at the following:

About the Speaker:

Valerie Miner is the award-winning author of fifteen books. Bread and Salt is her fourth collection of stories. Her latest novel is Traveling with Spirits. Other novels include After Eden, Range of Light, A Walking Fire, Winter's Edge, Blood Sisters, All Good WomenMovement: A Novel in Stories, and Murder in the English Department.  Her short fiction books include Abundant Light, The Night Singers and Trespassing. Her collection of essays is Rumors from the Cauldron: Selected Essays, Reviews and Reportage. In 2002, The Low Road: A Scottish Family Memoirwas a finalist for the PEN USA Creative Non-Fiction Award.  Her short fiction collections, Trespassing and Abundant Light were each finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards (1990 and 2005).

Her stories and essays are published in more than sixty anthologies.  A number of her pieces have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her work has been translated into German, Turkish, Danish, Italian, Spanish, French, Swedish and Dutch. 

She has won fellowships and awards from The Rockefeller Foundation, Fondazione Bogliasco, The Brown Foundation, Fundación Valparaiso, The McKnight Foundation, The NEA, The Jerome Foundation, The Heinz Foundation, The Australia Council Literary Arts Board and numerous other sources.  She has received Fulbright Fellowships to Tunisia, India and Indonesia.

Winner of a Distinguished Teaching Award, she has taught for over thirty years, she has been Artist in Residence at the Clayman Institute since 2005.  Her Stanford classes are cross-listed in FGSS and CSRE.   She travels internationally giving readings, lectures, and workshops.  She and her partner live in San Francisco and Mendocino County, California.  Her website is

Advance Praise:

“Once again, Valerie Miner has written a book I don’t want to put down. In Bread and Salt, Miner has constructed countless vibrant worlds. So many richly-drawn characters in this new collection! So many small treasures.”—Camille T. Dungy, author of Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History

Bread and Salt is an exquisite read. It’s lyrical, humorous, and intensely human in rich and quirky ways. Hauntings interrupt conversations and dreams; predictable lives are blown open; chance encounters morph into lifelong intimacies. Miner deftly transports her characters -and the reader- across myriad emotional, political, and geographical terrains, leaving us breathless. A marvel of a collection.”—Patricia Powell, author of The Pagoda and The Fullness of Everything

“Meticulously observed, acutely felt, cosmopolitan in scope and vision, the stories in Valerie Miner’s Bread and Salt explore how, contrary to intuition, not being at home is ultimately the fundamental human condition. Whether that home takes the form of place, friends, lovers, or our own bodies, it will until the end remain wondrously, buoyantly, shatteringly unfinalizable.”  —Lance Olsen, author of My Red Heaven

“Across continents and oceans, in the waiting rooms that are the interstices of travel, through characters welcoming and leaving, Valerie Miner’s stories delineate the complex geometry of friendship both brief and lifelong.”—Carol Anshaw, author of Right after the Weather