Inspired by the artistic collaboration of Ed Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) exhibit Scenes From a Marriage: Ed & Nancy Kienholz, Parallel Stories examines what happens in fiction and life when artist couples work together.

Author and recent winner of the Femina Prize for a foreign novel, Rachel Cusk returns to read from her Mann Booker Prize-nominated novel, “Second Place,” 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 in SBMA’s Mary Craig Auditorium, 1130 State St.

Tickets cost $5 for SBMA members, $10 for non-members, For tickets visit,

In her enigmatic tale, Cusk explores the complicated geometry of relationships — freedom and gender, art and suffering, ego and self-sacrifice, illusion and will.

Her husband and artist, Siemon Scamell-Katz, joins her on the stage along with their longtime friend award-winning author Andrew Winer, whose novel, “The Marriage Artist,” provides a provocative snapshot of contemporary marriage.

Together, they examine a certain anti-domestic stance, the closeness of comfort and control of our constructed selves, the way we enlist love in our perpetual search for meaning, and what we give up to create art.

Parallel Stories is a literary and performing arts series that pairs art and artists with award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim.

The series functions as a multidisciplinary lens through which to view SBMA’s collection and special exhibits.

Support for Parallel Stories was provided by the SBMA Women’s Board.