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SF, Ep. 60

March 23, 2016 — Our 10-Year Anniversary series of celebrations, Literary Death Match returned to LDM's spiritual home — the City by the Bay — for an ultra-fun night of calamity, literature and genius at the glorious Alamo Drafthouse that saw Zahra Noorbakhsh narrowly outduel Shanthi Sekaran in a Lone Star Lit finale that went all the way to overtime to win Noorbakhsh the LDM SF, Ep. 60 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the brilliant night kicked off with a Round 1 battle that saw Charlie Jane Anders, best-selling author of All the Birds in the Sky, editor of , Writers With Drinks host, read a wonderful piece set in a mall featuring two teens and a super assassin. Next up was Sekaran, author of The Prayer Room and the forthcoming Lucky Boy (January, 2017), who told the tale of an Indian Trump voter, and the consequences of setting a rat trap.

The mic was then turned over to our trio of star judges: Elmaz Abinader, actor, author of This House My Bones, co-founder of VONA/Voices; Kevin Simmonds, composer, musician, poet and author of Bend to It and Mad for Meat; and Kurt Bodden, writer, comedian, and star of the runaway hit solo show, Steve Seabrook: Better Than You. The three ripped off surprise quips and praise before huddling up and making the night's first impossible decision, naming Sekaran the night's first finalist.

Then came Round 2, led off by Noorbakhsh, comedian, performer and member of the SF Writers Grotto, who read a brilliant piece about a neighborhood converting to Islam to earn heaven experience points. Finally it was Kevin Sessums, actor, Editor at Large at The Curran, author of the NYT Best-Seller I Left It On the Mountain who dazzled with an excerpt from his best-seller Mississippi Sissy that focused on shame, shame and shame.

Again the judges were handed the mic, and again they raised the adverbial roof, delivering punchlines and praise before huddling up and making the night's second impossible decision, naming Noobakhsh the night's second finalist.

Finally, up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the night's finale: Lone Star Lit, in which he read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books while the finalists (and volunteers from the audience) guessed at the books they described. With everything to play for it was Team Noorbakhsh who nailed the final answer, winning her the LDM SF, Ep. 60 medal and literary immortality to go with it.