Books Inc. Alameda proudly presents a panel of not one but two amazing authors! Devin Holt and Jeff Raz will unite to discuss their books, Love Death Circus, and Training is Bitter!
Training is Bitter:
Hailed as everything from "the father of modern acrobatics" to the "rabble-rouser of Chinese circus," Master Trainer Lu Yi brings his trademark humor and acrobatic philosophy to his own life story in Training is Bitter.
He recalls a nearly seven-decade career of incredible feats and bitter challenges. At just eleven years old, Lu Yi faced cruel methods and harsh beatings from the coach of his first acrobatic troupe. He went on to become a celebrated performer known for acrobatic creativity who invented a number of tricks-including one that, as far as he knows, has never been replicated. He toured the world as a star acrobat, served as artistic director of both the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe and the San Francisco Circus Center, and established the first Chinese Acrobatics training program in the United States.
Through engaging first-hand accounts and detailed historical essays, Training is Bitter, written with former student Devin Holt, offers a picture of a man who inspired generations of students to endure the hard, bitter training necessary to perform on the world's biggest circus stages.
"If you've watched a circus in the last twenty years, you've seen Master Lu Yi's work. He changed circus in North America and Australia in profound and beautiful ways. He was also my teacher and a dear friend. Training is Bitter gives you a taste of Lu Yi's philosophy and why he is beloved by performers around the world." -JEFF RAZ, former Cirque du Soleil star and author of The Secret Life of Clowns
Devin Holt has been a lot of things: A wayward street-corner youth, a circus performer, and a farm boy loading firewood into the family pickup truck. He has hitchhiked across the United States more than once; lived in the rafters of a communal artist warehouse in San Francisco; and studied kung fu in a quiet academy on top of a hill in rural China. Now, he writes.
Love Death Circus:
Frank Singer gets the call he's been waiting for his whole career, an invitation to fly to Europe and star in the best-loved circus on earth. But he can't say "yes." His circus family - strong, independent, wildly creative people - need him at home like they never have before.
As high-flying as they are on stage, literally and figuratively, Franks community comes right down to earth when people start dying.
Love Death Circus is a love letter to the Bay Area circus community that has been the author's artistic home for over four decades. Framed by a series of benefit performances. Love Death Circus takes you deep into an idiosyncratic world of acrobats, comics, musicians and clowns with an outrageous sense of style reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen and Walter Mosely.
"Vivid and universal with profound vulnerability, great humor and generosity of spirit." -- Chris Ertel, author of Moments of Impact
"Jeff Raz write with a keen eye, an open heart and a delicious sense of detail. He lifts us 100 feet in the air and plunges us into a world of fear, doubt, excitement, and delight." -- Stephen Buescher, Theater Professor at UC San Deigo
Jeff Raz is the author of The Secret Life of Clowns, and the Snow Clown: Cartwheels on Borders from Alaska to Nebraska. He co-founded The Clown Conservatory, and the Medical Clown Project.