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CFF May 2019 6094 Final

About Our Reading Groups

The Center for Fiction’s thought-provoking Reading Groups explore titles—new and old, long and short—from a diverse selection of writers and genres. Catch up on contemporary bestsellers, dive into an unfamiliar genre, explore the canon, or reexamine your favorites through stimulating discussions with our knowledgeable group leaders and fellow book lovers.

Enjoy lively discussions over the course of a few weeks, months, or even a full year. A new lineup of reading groups, featuring a mix of online and in-person courses, is announced each winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Members of The Center for Fiction receive early access to reading groups, 10% off enrollment, and an open invitation to our members-only groups, The Literarians and The Nightlighters.

Recent Instructors

  • Photo: John F. Sheehan Photography (www.jfsheehanphoto.com)

    Marc L. Abbott

    Marc L. Abbott

    Marc L. Abbott is a Brooklyn native whose work includes The Hooky Party and Etienne and The Stardust Express. He’s the co-author of Hell at Brooklyn Tea and Hell at the Way Station, the two-time African American Literary Award-winning horror anthology. His horror short stories are featured in Hells Heart, Hells Mall, Even in the Grave, and the Bram Stoker Nominated horror anthologies New York State of Fright and Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign and Blackened Roots. He is a Moth Story Slam and Grand Slam Storyteller winner and an award-winning actor. In addition, he holds an MFA in Creative Writing.

  • Regina Bernard

    Regina A. Bernard

    Regina A. Bernard

    Regina A. Bernard, Ph.D., was born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. She is a graduating pioneer of the M.A. in African American Studies at Columbia University and also holds several other graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in Urban Education. Dr. Bernard’s research focuses on women of color and the ways of wellness. She is the author of three books on education, young women of color and feminism, and Black Studies. She has also published articles in the Journal of Pan African Studies, Small Farms Quarterly, Breathe Magazine UK, Inside Higher Education, and Audubon Magazine, among other publications.

  • Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond Large

    Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

    Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

    Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of the children’s picture book Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky, illustrated by Caldecott Honor Artist Daniel Minter. Named among the best books of 2022 by NPR, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Kirkus Reviews, The Center for the Study of Multicultural Literature, and Bank Street College of Education, Blue was honored with the 2023 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award® recognizing excellence in the writing of non-fiction for children, included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Brew-Hammond also wrote the young adult novel Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called “a winning debut”, and she edited Relations: An Anthology of African and Diaspora Voices, of which Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review: “This smart, generous collection is a true gift.” Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a writing fellowship whose mission is to write light into darkness.


    Photo Credit: Essie Brew Hammond; EXIT (Clothing)

  • Hilary-Davidson-scaled-1067x1600

    Hilary Davidson

    Hilary Davidson

    Hilary Davidson is an award-winning novelist and journalist. She is the author of two mystery series, one featuring amateur sleuth Lily Moore (The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises), and the other featuring police detective Sheryn Sterling (One Small Sacrifice and Don’t Look Down). Hilary is also the author of two standalone novels (Her Last Breath and Blood Always Tells), a short-story collection (The Black Widow Club), and some fifty short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Mystery Scene, Beat to a Pulp, and other publications. Her fiction has won two Anthony Awards and a Derringer Award and has been translated into French, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Russian.

    As a journalist, she is the author of 18 nonfiction books and has published work in a wide range of venues including American Archaeology, CNN, Discover, Frommer’s, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Reader’s Digest. Originally from Toronto, she has lived in New York City since October 2001.

  • AnneFernald

    Anne Fernald

    Anne Fernald

    Anne E. Fernald is Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Fordham University. She is the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Mrs. Dalloway and has published and edited books and articles on Virginia Woolf with special attention to feminism and intertextuality, as well as on modernism and feminism more generally. She is one of the editors of The Norton Reader and co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity 2019-23. She is currently at work on a collective biography of modernist women writers.

  • Sheridan Hay Photo

    Sheridan Hay

    Sheridan Hay

    Sheridan Hay holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her first novel, The Secret of Lost Things (Doubleday/Anchor), which features a lost novel by Herman Melville, was a BookSense Pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover selection, shortlisted for the Border’s Original Voices Fiction Prize, and nominated for the International Impac Award. A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice, foreign rights have been sold in fourteen countries. An historical novel, Unfolded, will be published in 2024. Sheridan has led The Center’s Moby-Dick reading group many times, as well as leading a popular Henry James group, and most recently, a group dedicated to the work of Shirley Hazzard.

  • Amanda Hollander

    Amanda Hollander

    Amanda Hollander

    A writer and opera librettist, Amanda Hollander holds a doctorate in Victorian and children’s literature from UCLA. She recently completed a fellowship with the American Opera Project. She has published several works of speculative short fiction and academic articles. You can find more about her upcoming projects at amandahollander.com.

  • Elizabeth Howard

    Elizabeth Howard

    Elizabeth Howard

    Elizabeth Howard grew up with a passion for books and reading. Her articles have appeared in Corporate Board Member, Communication Arts, European Communications, Investor Relations, Law Firm Marketing & Profit Report, Communication World, the Strategist, and the New York Law Journal, among others. Queen Anne’s Lace and Wild Blackberry Pie, a book of reflections on growing up in New Hampshire, was published by Thornwillow Press in 2011. Her other books include A Day with Bonefish Joe (David R. Godin, 2015) and she edited Ned O’Gorman: A Glance Back (Easton Studio Press, 2016). She was the inaugural Madeleine L’Engle Fellow at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

    She is the producer and host of a podcast, the Short Fuse, that can be found on Spotify, Amazon Music, Simplecast and through the Arts Fuse, the online journal of criticism and commentary. Through the Short Fuse, she is often in conversations with authors.

    Elizabeth Howard lives in New York City.

  • Naomi Huffman

    Naomi Huffman

    Naomi Huffman

    Naomi Huffman is a co-founder of Hagfish, an editorial studio and small press based in Brooklyn.

  • Evan James

    Evan James

    Evan James

    Evan James is the author of Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe: A Novel and I’ve Been Wrong Before: Essays. He has an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught writing at The University of Iowa, Victoria University of Wellington, The Berlin Writers’ Workshop, The New School, and elsewhere. He ran a Tristram Shandy reading group for The Center for Fiction in the spring of 2022. He lives in Brooklyn.

  • Sheila Kohler by Beowulf Sheehan

    Sheila Kohler

    Sheila Kohler

    Sheila Kohler is the author of eleven novels: The Perfect Place (Knopf,1989), The House on R Street (Knopf, 1994), Cracks (Zoland, 1999), Children of Pithiviers (Zoland, June 2001), Crossways (The Ontario Review Press, October 2004), Bluebird or the Invention of Happiness (Other Press, 2007), Becoming Jane Eyre (Viking/Penguin, December 2009), Love Child (Viking Penguin, June 2011), Bay of the Foxes (Penguin, 2012), Dreaming for Freud, (Penguin, 2017), Open Secrets (Penguin, 2020), and three collections of short stories: Miracles in America (Knopf, 1990), One Girl (Helicon Nine, 1999), and Stories from Another World (2003, Ontario Review Press). Her recent memoir Once We Were Sisters was published by Penguin in 2017 and Canongate in England.


    Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan

  • Dennis Krieger

    Dennis Krieger

    Dennis Krieger

    Dennis Krieger is a Manhattan attorney with a lifetime of involvement in literature. During college and law school at Berkeley, Dennis was a Teaching Assistant in various literature courses. Later, he was the co-author of Skiing the Best, a Guide to Skiing in North America (Vintage) which became a bestseller and was a main Book of the Month selection (Quality Book Club). Dennis is an avid reader of Graham Greene as well as British fiction between-the wars generally. A Proustian, Dennis has spent the last decade participating in the Center’s intensive Proust Groups as well as in the study of Proust at other institutions.

  • mike levine

    Mike Levine

    Mike Levine

    Mike Levine is an independent editor. He was previously an acquisitions editor at Northwestern University Press. Among the authors he published were Jen Beagin (Whiting Award winner), A. E. Stallings (National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, finalist), and Stephen Karam (Pulitzer Prize in Drama, finalist). He has also been a senior editor at the Great Books Foundation. Since 2000, he has taught literature and film seminars in several continuing education programs. He has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in English from Rice University.

  • mottolesew

    William Mottolese

    William Mottolese

    William Mottolese has taught at Fordham University and Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana and is presently Co-Chair of the English Department at Sacred Heart Greenwich. He has published on such subjects as Olaudah Equiano, Laurence Sterne, and James Joyce and is presently at work on projects on Joyce, teaching critical thinking, and the relation of literary modernism to twentieth-century popular music. He has taught for a decade on the faculty of the Center for Fiction where he has led classes on James Joyce, David Foster Wallace, Salman Rushdie, Irish literature, and postcolonial literature. William is an award-winning teacher, published poet, and proud father of three children.

  • Pam Newton Maine Headshot - Pam Newton

    Pam Newton

    Pam Newton

    Pam Newton teaches writing in the English department at Yale University and is a freelance magazine writer. Her articles, mostly personal essays and art/culture journalism, have appeared in the New York Times magazine, Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, American Theatre, the National Book Review, LitHub, and elsewhere. She has taught writing and literature for many years to a wide range of ages, including a decade teaching in the Humanities faculty at Cooper Union and directing the Writing Fellows program there. She has a B.A. in Drama from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.

  • Julia Ringo

    Julia Ringo

    Julia Ringo

    Julia Ringo is a co-founder of Hagfish, an editorial studio and small press based in Brooklyn.

  • Antonio Romani

    Antonio Romani

    Antonio Romani

    Antonio Romani, an essayist and translator, is the author of La Paziente Attesa delle Pietre (Pacini Fazzi, 2023). His writings and co-translations have appeared in A Public Space, AGNI, the Common, Tin House, the Southampton Review, and other literary journals. His essay on Elena Ferrante was cited as Notable in The Best American Essays 2016. He co-translated (with Martha Cooley) Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry in 2015. Since 2014, he has led a “What’s Italian?” reading group at The Center.

  • Rebecca Rukeyser

    Rebecca Rukeyser

    Rebecca Rukeyser

    Rebecca Rukeyser is the author of the novel The Seaplane on Final Approach (2022; Doubleday USA/ Granta Books UK). Her work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Believer, Granta, The Guardian, and Zyzzyva, among others, and was awarded the Berlin Senate Endowment for Non-German Literature. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Originally from Davis, California, Rebecca lives in Germany, where she teaches creative writing at Bard College Berlin.

  • Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia. His work can be found in Harper’s, the White Review, the Paris Review, and ARTNews, and he is a regular contributor to T magazine. Until very recently, he was the deputy editor of Astra magazine.

  • Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor is a Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) and a Mellon/ACLU Community College Fellow whose research specialty is intersections between science fiction, fantasy, and critical race studies. Her book Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color (2021) examines the contributions of late twentieth and twenty-first-century U.S. and Canadian science fiction authors of color to the genre. For more of her writing, check out her article “The Line Between Science Fiction and Fantasy is Blurring, and I’m Into It,” which is nominated for an IGNYTE Award.

  • Lise schreier

    Lise Schreier

    Lise Schreier

    Dr. Lise-Ségolène Schreier is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Fordham University. Her publications have drawn on diverse material such as feminist newspapers, medical travelogues, fashion plates, colonial-era children’s literature, vaudeville theater and early comics. At Fordham, she teaches courses on the nineteenth-century French novel, francophone literature and contemporary fiction writing.

  • thais

    Thais Vitorelli

    Thais Vitorelli

    Thais Vitorelli (she/they) is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and educator from São Paulo, Brazil. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from The New School, and sometimes experiments with poetry and autofiction. Her stories have been featured in The Inquisitive Eater, Share Literary Journal, Pitch Wars, and Coca-Cola Refreshing Films. To learn more, visit thaisvitorelli.com.

  • benje williams

    Benje Williams

    Benje Williams

    Benje Williams grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the grandson of Southern sharecroppers and farmers.

    He studied business and African-American history at UC Berkeley before working as a consultant in New York, Kenya, South Africa, India, and Pakistan. He completed an MBA from Stanford and moved back to Pakistan to set up an education venture called Amal Academy.

    He ran Amal for seven years in Lahore and transitioned back to New York, where he co-founded Understory, a non-profit focused on forest restoration, and Outlandish, a hiking brand helping people reconnect with nature.

    He’s a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with Yale’s Program on Climate Change Communication and has been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Longreads, Backpacker, Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. He’s working on his first novel and is represented by Mina Hamedi (Janklow & Nesbit).

We kindly ask those attending in-person reading groups to review our Health & Safety Protocols before visiting The Center for Fiction. For refunds, please refer to our Refund Policy.