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Radical Imagination: New Voices, New Visions from San Francisco State University

How do we imagine into fictional worlds that, as Anna Deveare Smith says, evoke multiple chords? How do we employ an honest gaze on our fictional people, a gaze that allows in beauty and its opposite, the anarchic details, the true face? And…
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“Tell Me the Story of Your Body”: Emily Rapp Black and Jan Grue on Creativity and Disability

“This is not a story about survival. It is not about how I became a human, but rather how I came to understand that I already was human.” So writes Norwegian author Jan Grue, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at age three. In…
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“We Read in Order to Come to Life”: Grief, Joy, and the Magic of Literary Form

How do writers assemble words in a way that lifts them beyond their literal meaning to speak what can’t really be said? These three writers are masters. In her novel Checkout 19, Claire-Louise Bennett (whose words are quoted in this program’s…
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The Secrets of Being an Extraordinary Woman: Three Authors on Ambition, Adventure, and Equality

Who says women can’t have it all? Get inspired by a powerful trio from Finland, Iceland, and the United States whose new books radically redefine pathways to happiness and a better society. In her research-based book, Lara Bazelon liberates…
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Secrets and Revelations, Lies and Love: Family Legacies in Fiction

Every family harbors its secrets. And eventually, those secrets always come out. What happens afterwards? Legacies are revealed, and the possibility of healing—or at least understanding—glimmers. Monica West’s Revival Season earned comparisons…
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From the Window Seat: Travel the World with Aminatta Forna

Be a passenger on one of the most thought-provoking journeys you’ll ever take, with a first-class wandering soul guiding the itinerary. Award-winning novelist Aminatta Forna (The Memory of Love; Happiness) is one of our most important and…
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Let Her Tell It: Black Women Writing on the Body and Mind

Many Black women have a complex relationship with their bodies. Historically their bodies have been racialized, hypersexualized, exoticized, abused, exploited for labor and othered. Stressors in their lives affects physical and mental health.…
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Building a Literary Community

Inspired by romantic images of lonely geniuses in secluded garrets, writers might feel compelled to toil away in isolation, but here’s a provocative idea: what if, by connecting with other writers, you could not only support their work but…
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Picturing a Life: Graphic Memoirs

Blockbuster works like Fun Home, Maus, and Persepolis have made it clear that graphic memoirs are a game-changer in the world of literature. What makes this literary genre–-blending the disciplines of cinema, writing, and visual art—so gripping?…
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Celebrating Cannabis

Cannabis has transcended its outdated “wacky tobaccy” reputation. These days, it can be consumed in everything from gummies to hot cocoa, with uses for everyone from chronic pain sufferers to marathon runners to even pets. In the "approachable,…