Pride at The Center for Fiction: Featuring Darryl Pinckney, Edmund White, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, and Samuel Delany
June is Pride month, and in celebration of this, we wanted to share videos of just a few of the authors we've hosted over the years who address LGBTQIA issues in their work. (And check out their books and some other recommendations for further reading in the right-hand column.)
If you like what you hear, you'll love our new podcast, Fiction Talks, which will launch later this year. This project was recently fully funded on Kickstarter, and thanks to over 100 generous donors, we will be able to remaster the audio of great events like these from our archive. These voices deserve to be heard in the best quality, and we can't wait to bring them to you in the form of a literary podcast!
In author and critic Darryl Pinckney's latest novel, Black Deutschland, he takes inspiration from Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories. Pinckney's American protagonist moves to a Berlin on the verge of unification where he explores what it means to be black and gay in this new culture. At this event from 2012, Pinckney was joined by authors Roxana Robinson (Sparta), and Jane Smiley (Golden Age), with moderator Noreen Tomassi, to discuss the legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Memoirist, cultural critic, novelist—Edmund White is a skilled writer, no matter what the genre, and he often uses his work to explore what it means to be a gay man. We've been fortunate to host White at the Center several times. At this event, White talked with Sheila Kohler about her book Love Child.
At this event from 2010, poet, novelist, performer, and art journalist Eileen Myles discusses her book Inferno (a poet's novel). The book features a narrator who goes on a journey to discover her own creative vision and sexuality in a chaotic and inspiring New York City. Here Myles discusses the origins of the book, her use of a protagonist with her name, and how the book blends the line between genres.
In her recent book, The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson examines gender and sexual fluidity within the landscapes of motherhood, family, and romantic love. In this video, Nelson is joined by Heidi Julavits (The Folded Clock), and Sarah Manguso (Ongoingness), with moderator Noreen Tomassi to talk about the personal nature of their work.
Samuel R. Delany
Master of science fiction, Samuel R. Delany has explored issues of gender and sexuality in his work, from the landmark novel Dhalgren to his nonfiction. We're honored to have hosted Delany as part of our Big Read honoring Ursula K. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea. Delany was joined for this event by Steve Berman, Carlos Hernandez, Andrea Hairston, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and moderator Ellen Kushner. The panel discussed the idea of otherness in science-fiction and fantasy.