The Craft of Fiction: Flash Fiction and Innovative Forms with Kim Chinquee, Eugene Lim, and Dawn Raffel
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EST February 15, 2023
The Center for Fiction
The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward a copy of Boundless as the Sky on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.
What can be discovered within a narrative mosaic? How can the most succinct stories become building blocks for a larger tale? Three envelope-pushing writers—Kim Chinquee (Pipette), Eugene Lim (Search History), and The Center for Fiction writing workshop instructor Dawn Raffel (Boundless as the Sky)—will explore these questions and more. Join us for a rich conversation on the possible uses of flash fiction: novel-as flash, novella-as flash, and other structures of unexpected connections. Don’t miss the chance to dive into questions of craft—the language, structure, vision, and voice in these forms—and questions of interest—why we’re attracted to these patchwork structures!
Kim Chinquee grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, served in the medical field in the Air Force, and is often referred to as the “queen” of flash fiction. She’s published hundreds of pieces of fiction and nonfiction in journals and magazines including the Nation, Ploughshares, NOON, Storyquarterly, Denver Quarterly, Fiction, Story, Notre Dame Review, Conjunctions, and others. She is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and a Henfield Prize. She is Senior Editor of New World Writing, Chief Editor of Elm Leaves Journal (ELJ) and co-director of SUNY—Buffalo State’s Writing Major. She’s the author of eight books, most recently (her debut novel) Pipette.
Photo Credit: Kim Chinquee
Eugene Lim is the author of the novel Fog & Car (Ellipsis Press, 2008), The Strangers (Black Square Editions, 2013), Dear Cyborgs (FSG Originals, 2017), and Search History (Coffee House Press, 2021). His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, the Believer, the Baffler, Granta, Dazed, Fence, Little Star, the Denver Quarterly, the Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Gigantic, Your Impossible Voice, the Coming Envelope, Everyday Genius, Vestiges, and elsewhere. Pessimist of the intellect by night; by day, he’s house librarian at the Charles Xavier School for the Greatly Responsibled. He runs Ellipsis Press, and lives in Jackson Heights, NY, with Joanna and Felix.
Photo Credit: Ning Li
Dawn Raffel is the author of six books, most recently Boundless as the Sky, a story collection filled with aviators, sword swallowers, impossible cities, and more. Her writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, New Philosopher, Conjunctions, Big Other, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, New Micro, Best Small Fictions, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. She is currently the fiction editor of the Northwest Review and works as an independent editor and teacher.
Photo Credit: Clare Holt
Boundless as the Sky
By Dawn Raffel
Published by Sagging Meniscus Press / Ingram
Dawn Raffel’s Boundless as the Sky is a book of the invisible histories that repose beneath the cities we inhabit, and the worlds we try to build out of words. The first of its two parts, stories of real and invented cities, some ancient, some dystopian, is a response to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. The second part comes together into one narrative, taking place in a single city—Chicago—on a single day in 1933. It is based closely on a true event, the arrival of a “roaring armada of goodwill” in the form of twenty-four seaplanes flown in a display of fascist power by Mussolini’s wingman Italo Balbo to Chicago’s “Century of Progress” World’s Fair. The 7000-mile flight from Rome to Chicago was lauded by both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Hitler, at a time when aviation made banner headlines across the US, and news of the Nazis was often in a side column. The novella follows a few of the many thousands of Chicagoans there to witness the planes’ arrival. These two panels of Raffel’s poetic diptych call out to each other with a mysterious and disquieting harmony, and from history and fantasy to the dangers and dark realities of the current moment with startling insight and urgency.
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