The Creative Writing Program's Spring 2021 Visiting Writers Series kicks off Thursday, February 11, with a virtual event featuring novelist and short story writer Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!, Orange World, and most recently the novella Sleep Donation, named one of Buzzfeed's Best Books of the Year.
The event begins at 7 p.m. on Crowdcast (linked soon at this space). The series is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in conjunction with Mason’s University Libraries, and books will be for sale through One More Page Books in Arlington, VA.
Karen Russell won the 2012 and the 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia! (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and one of The New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2011. Her short story collections include St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and Orange World. Calling Russell's latest work, Sleep Donation, "Another testament to [Russell's] fertile powers of invention," New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani praised its "Twilight Zone-like inventiveness and the energy and brio of a natural fantasist with a proclivity for blending the real and surreal, the psychological and the sci-fi."
Russell has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim award and is a former fellow of the NYPL Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin. She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University and received her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son. She is the Endowed Chair of Texas State University’s MFA program, where she teaches in the fall semesters.
Additional events ahead in this year's Visiting Writers Series:
- Thursday, February 18: Reginald Dwayne Betts (nonfiction)
- Thursday February 25: Ted Conover (nonfiction)
- Thursday, March 11: Ayşe Papatya Bucak (fiction)
- Thursday, March 18: Arthur Sze (poetry)
- Thursday, April 1: Kerri Webster (poetry)
January 21, 2021