At first glance, these two debut novels don’t seem to have much in common. Richard Taylor Pearson‘s The Role explores the comedy and tragedy that goes on behind the curtain of a contemporary Broadway play, while Joe Okonkwo‘s Jazz Moon presents a personal and artistic odyssey set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris. However, both books feature tantalizing drama with highly creative protagonists who face challenges in art, life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Join us for a lively reading and discussion.
Richard Taylor Pearson is a triple threat: author, actor, and attorney. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he appeared in many plays and musicals. After graduating from Rhodes College, Richard went on to obtain a law degree from Rutgers School of Law. While he works as an attorney by day, his nights and weekends are spent writing novels and performing in theatrical events all over New York City. Richard lives in Jersey City with his brilliant husband, Brian, and their amazing daughter, Natalie.
Joe Okonkwo is a Pushcart Prize nominee who has had stories published in a variety of print and online venues including Promethean, Penumbra Literary Magazine, Chelsea Station, Shotgun Honey, and Best Gay Stories 2015. In addition to his writing career, he has worked in theater as an actor, stage manager, director, playwright and youth theatre instructor. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from City College of New York. Jazz Moon is his debut novel.