Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz (Meghan O'Rourke), Dustin Cohen (Joyce Carol Oates)




Writing After Loss

Sunday September 16, 2018
12:00 pm

Tags: Event





This event took place as part of The 2018 Brooklyn Book Festival.



Sadness is only one part of grieving. It can be, and often is, absurd and darkly humorous as well. And, as William Faulkner said, “Between grief and nothing I will take grief.” Each of these extraordinary writers have written memoirs about the deaths of those closest to them. At this Center for Fiction-sponsored event, Joyce Carol OatesJonathan Santlofer, and Meghan O’Rourke discussed how they dealt with grief and loss on the page. Moderated by Noreen Tomassi, Center for Fiction. 


Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, The Death Artist, was an international bestseller, and is currently in development for screen adaptation. His fourth novel, Anatomy of Fear, won the Nero Award for best novel of 2009. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. His paintings and drawings are included in numerous public and private collections. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and serves on the board of Yaddo, the oldest arts community in the US. Recently, Santlofer created It Occurs To Me that I Am America, a collection of writing and art with more than 50 contributors, to benefit the ACLU. His memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, will be published by Penguin Book in July 2018.


Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. She is also the author of the memoir, A Widow's Story


Meghan O’Rourke began her career as one of the youngest editors in the history of The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Redbook, Vogue, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry. O’Rourke is also the author of the poetry collections Once (2011) and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for both the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. She was awarded the inaugural May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize for Poetry from the Poetry Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and a Front Page Award for her cultural criticism. One of three judges chosen to select Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2007, she has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and a finalist for the Rome Prize of the Academy of Arts and Letters. A graduate of Yale University, she has taught at Princeton, The New School, and New York University. She is currently working on a book about chronic illness. She lives in Brooklyn, where she grew up, and Marfa, TX.