Join us on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at 6:30 pm for a ZOOM conversation with author Jenn Shapland. Presented in conversation with SNMA Executive Director Robert Kesten, Jenn will discuss her latest book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers.
The event is free, open to the public and conducted via ZOOM.
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How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered—an icon and idol—alongside your own? Jenn Shapland’s celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America’s most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love. Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a woman named Annemarie. Though Shapland recognizes herself in the letters, which are intimate and unabashed in their feelings, she does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Her curiosity gives way to fixation, not just with this newly discovered side of McCullers’s life, but with how we tell queer love stories. Why, Shapland asks, are the stories of women paved over by others’ narratives? What happens when constant revision is required of queer women trying to navigate and self-actualize in straight spaces? And what might the tracing of McCullers’s life—her history, her secrets, her legacy—reveal to Shapland about herself?
About Jenn Shapland
Jenn Shapland is a writer living in New Mexico. Her first book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (Tin House 2020), was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award and won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award. Shapland has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and writing have been supported by residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, and Vermont Studio Center and by fellowships from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Howard Foundation.
She currently works as an archivist for a visual artist.