Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers; In conversation with Natalie Goldberg (1)
Date, Time & Location
About the Event
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While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie—letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters’ language—but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers’s life. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees how McCullers’s story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories. In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers’s to create a vital new portrait of one of America’s most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Shapland's work won a 2017 Pushcart Prize and fellowships/residencies at Ucross, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Yaddo, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, and Vermont Studio Center. Her essays have been published in Tin House, THE Magazine, Pastelegram, The Lifted Brow, Electric Literature, NANOfiction, and The Millions. She teaches in the Creative Writing department at the Institute of American Indian Arts and has a PhD in English from UT Austin. She designs and makes clothing for Agnes. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
About Natalie Goldberg
Natalie Goldberg is the author of fifteen books, including Writing Down the Bones, which has sold over one million copies, has been translated into fourteen languages, and started a revolution in the way we practice writing in this country. In her 2018 memoir Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home, she shared her experience with cancer grounded in her practice of zen and writing. Natalie is also also a prolific painter. For more than forty years Natalie has practiced zen and taught seminars in writing as a practice. She lives in Northern New Mexico.