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Manzanita Writers’ Series presents author Leigh Camacho Rourks at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Hoffman Center for the Arts. Rourks will read from her debut short story collection, “Moon Trees and Other Orphans.”

“Moon Trees and Other Orphans” is a gritty collection of short stories set along the Gulf Coast, focusing on themes of desperation, loneliness and love. Filled with hard-living characters who are deeply lonely, it tracks the ways they fight for survival, often making very bad decisions as they go. Populated by gun toting women, ex-cons, desperate teens, and other outsiders, it is a collection about what life is like in hard places, both beautiful and dangerous.

Rourks is a Cuban-American author who lives and works in central Florida, where she is an assistant professor of English and Humanities at Beacon College. She is the recipient of the St. Lawrence Book Award, the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and the Robert Watson Literary Review Prize, and her work has been shortlisted for several other awards. Her fiction, poems and essays have appeared in a number of journals, including Kenyon Revie, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, TriQuarterly, December Magazine and Greensboro Review.

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