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Joanna Biggs Presents A Life of One's Own with Lauren Oyler and Christine Smallwood

May 16, 2023

Can a woman thrive creatively and intellectually within society’s expectations? Is domesticity a trap? Where is that room, Virginia?

The Center for Fiction and Harper’s Magazine welcome author and editor Joanna Biggs for the launch of her new book, A Life of One’s Own: Nine Women Writers Begin Again, a feminist tapestry of literary criticism, memoir, and historical biography. Writers Lauren Oyler (Fake Accounts) and Christine Smallwood (The Life of the Mind) joined Biggs to discuss the various ways that female writers—themselves, and their predecessors; from Virginia Woolf to Simone de Beauvoir to Toni Morrison—have navigated an intellectual and cultural landscape that, for centuries, has sought to marginalize them.

Photos by Macy Castañeda Lee

In Conversation

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    Joanna Biggs

    Joanna Biggs

    Joanna Biggs is an editor for Harper’s Magazine. Previously an editor at the London Review of Books, she has written for the New Yorker, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and much more. She lives in New York.

    Photo Credit: Sarah Bohn

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    Lauren Oyler

    Lauren Oyler

    Lauren Oyler is a critic and novelist based in Berlin. Her writing appears regularly in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harper’s, the London Review of Books, and other publications. Her novel Fake Accounts was published in 2021, and a collection of her essays, all previously unpublished, is forthcoming next year.

    Photo Credit: Pete Voelker

  • CS photo 1 - Vrinda Madan

    Christine Smallwood

    Christine Smallwood

    Christine Smallwood is the author of the novel The Life of the Mind.