Julia Ridley Smith Sex Romp Gone Wrong

Saturday, May 11 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us for an evening with Julia Ridley Smith, in conversation with Jody Hobbs Hesler.

Join us for a reading with author Julia Ridley Smith, who will read from her debut story collection, Sex Romp Gone Wrong. A conversation with author Jody Hobbs Hesler will follow. This in-person event will be cosponsored by WriterHouse and will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.

About the Book: In her debut story collection, Julia Ridley Smith navigates the currents and eddies of desire, sex, love, and relationships.

These twelve highly accomplished stories are witty and accessible, intelligent and thought-provoking. A girls’ week at the beach prompts hot tub drinking, awkward confessions, and a poignant reconsideration of friendship. A caregiver extracts a small repayment from her elderly patient for his long-forgotten role in the demise of her family. A young woman, new to New York City, finds herself in a complex but tacky love affair and reckons with the unfolding plot of her life. In the title story, a woman plots to conceive a second child while at a convention hotel with her husband and teenage daughter, both of whom have other plans. Smith’s stories will beguile and delight readers while at the same time exploring the deep and often difficult ties of family, marriage, and romantic love in modern life.

About the Author: Sex Romp Gone Wrong is Julia Ridley Smith’s first story collection. Her first book, The Sum of Trifles, is a memoir published by the University of Georgia Press (2021) as a title in their Crux literary nonfiction series. Julia’s short stories and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Literary Review, Arts and Letters, The Carolina Quarterly, Chelsea, Ecotone, Electric Literature, The Greensboro Review, New England Review, Southern Cultures, and The Southern Review, among other places. Julia teaches creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill.

About the Moderator: Jody Hobbs Hesler has written ever since she could hold a pencil and now lives and writes in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Growing up, she split time between suburban Richmond and the mountains outside Winchester. Experiences of all these regions flavor her writing. Her debut story collection, What Makes You Think You’re Supposed to Feel Better, was published by Cornerstone Press in October 2023, and her debut novel, Without You Here, is forthcoming from Flexible Press in September 2024. She teaches at WriterHouse in Charlottesville and reads for The Los Angeles Review.

To order Sex Romp Gone Wrong, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.

"Sex Romp Gone Wrong is a dazzlingly inventive collection, and Julia Ridley Smith writes so beautifully about the intensity of being alive, of wanting more than you can have, of navigating the absurdity of the world with various degrees of success. You’d be hard pressed to find a writer who is so genuinely funny and yet knows the exact moment to turn that humor towards a moment of realization so deeply felt that you have to read the line again."

—Kevin Wilson

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Julia Ridley Smith Photo Credit: VanderVeen Photographers