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Poli-Fi (NYC)

News Story

Politically infused fiction has the potential to open eyes and change minds, to illuminate injustice and lead readers to consider issues in fresh ways. Join award-winning writers for a discussion on balancing commitment and craft in poli-fi.

On Wednesday, November 5, at 6:00 p.m. in One Pace Plaza, join the Women’s National Book Association, Pace’s Women and Gender Studies and English departments, and the MS in Publishing Program for Balancing Commitment and Craft in Political Fiction. Four novelists consider ways of framing language, developing character, and structuring plot to dramatize conflicts of class, race, gender, and politics, while avoiding the pitfalls of authorial intrusion and didacticism. Panelists include award-winning novelists and essayists Céline Keating, Ellen Meeropol, Marnie Mueller, Elizabeth Nunez, and Tiphanie Yanique. Moderated by Susan Breen.

About the panelists:

Ellen Meeropol’s debut novel, House Arrest (Red Hen, 2011) was given a starred review by Publishers Weekly, which called it “thoughtful and tightly composed, unflinching in taking on challenging subjects and deliberating uneasy ethical conundrums,” and whose characters must make decisions about their conflicting loyalties to their families, their communities, and to each other as they explore the necessity of sometimes breaking rules to serve justice. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Bridges, Pedestal, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, Shaking Magazine, Women’s Times, Off Our Backs and others. Her second novel, On Hurricane
 Island, will be published in early 2015. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Nunez is the author of eight novels, the most recent of which, Boundaries (Akashic Books, 2011), was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Nunez’s other novels include Anna In-Between, Prospero’s Daughter, Bruised Hibiscus, Discretion, Grace, Beyond the Limbo Silence, and When Rocks Dance. Nunez is co-editor of the anthology, Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers. She was co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference and executive producer for the 2004 NY Emmy nominated series, Black Writers in America. Nunez immigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad, received a PhD in English from New York University, and is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, CUNY. Her memoir Not for Everyday Use was published this year.

Marnie Mueller is the author of three novels. Her most recent, My Mother’s Island, in development for a feature film, takes place in a working class community
 in Puerto Rico where her family lived for 20 years. Her novels have received numerous “picks” and awards, some of which are: an American Book Award, a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” choice, the New York Public Library’s “Best Books for the Teenager,” a Maria Thomas Award, and the New York Times “New and Noteworthy in Paper.” She is currently working on a book, Triple Threat, about a Nisei showgirl interned during WWII.

Céline Keating’s debut novel Layla (Plain View Press, 2011) was a Huffington Post “Best Books” and a Poets & Writers magazine’s “Great Summer Fiction Debut.” Her fiction has been published in Appearances, Echoes, Emry’s Journal, The North Stone Review, Prairie Schooner, and Santa Clara Review. Her nonfiction has been published in Acoustic Guitar, Minor 7th, Coastal Living, and Poets & Writers magazines. She has won scholarships to Breadloaf and Writers at Work and fellowships to the MacDowell Colony. Her second novel, Play for Me, will be published in spring 2015.

Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the novel Land 
of Love and Drowning (Riverhead, July 2014) and the short story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony. BookPage listed her as one of the 14 women to watch out for in 2014. Her writing has won the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize,
a Fulbright Scholarship, and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the 16 cultural figures to watch out for and by the National Book Foundation as one of the 5 Under 35. Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands and is a professor in the MFA program at the New School in New York City.

Susan Breen
teaches fiction classes for Gotham Writers’ Workshop in Manhattan. Her short stories have been published by a number of literary magazines, among them American Literary Review and North Dakota Quarterly. She is also a contributor to The Writer and Writers’ Digest. Her first novel, The Fiction Class, was published by Penguin in 2008.