The Modern Family

Thursday December 1, 2016
07:00 pm

Tags: Event




Photo Credit: Elena Seibert (Lee), Robin Holland (Chung)

In recognition of the manifold forms of the modern family, Min Jin Lee (Free Food For Millionnaires, Pachinko (2017)), Tanwi Nandini Islam (Bright Lines), Alden Jones (Unaccompanied Minors), and Sonya Chung (The Loved Ones, Long for This World) discussed the ongoing importance of representing a broad spectrum of families in fiction.


Sonya Chung is the author of the novels The Loved Ones (Relegation Books, 2016) and Long for This World (Scribner, 2010). She is a staff writer for the The Millions and founding editor of Bloom, and is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination, the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the Bronx Council on the Arts Writers’ Fellowship & Residency, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Sonya’s stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Crab Orchard Review, Tin House, The Huffington Post, Sonora Review, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, Short: An International Anthology, and BOMB Magazine, among others. Sonya has taught fiction writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, NYU, the College of Mount St. Vincent, and Columbia University. Currently she lives in New York City and teaches at Skidmore College.


Tanwi Nandini Islam is the author of Bright Lines (2015), a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and the inaugural selection for the First Lady of New York City's Gracie Book Club. She is the founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a small-batch niche fragrance house. A graduate of Brooklyn College MFA and Vassar College, she lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Alden Jones was born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and educated at Brown University, New York University, and the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her first book, The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, was named a Top Ten Travel Book by Publishers Weekly and the Huffington Post, won the Independent Publishers Book Award in Travel Essays and the Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year in Travel Essays, and was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award. Her story collection, Unaccompanied Minors, won the New American Fiction Prize, the Lascaux Book Prize, and an Independent Publisher Book Award in Short Fiction, and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award in Debut Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award. Alden is the cofounder, with Tim Weed, of the Cuba Writers Program, which launched in May 2016. She teaches creative writing and cultural studies at Emerson College in Boston.


Min Jin Lee's debut novel Free Food for Millionaires was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller; it was a Top 10 Novels of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today. Free Food for Millionaires was also published in the U.K. (Random House, 2007), South Korea (Image Box Publishing) and Italy (Einaudi). She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer. Lee’s highly anticipated second novel Pachinko is forthcoming in February 2017.