Jesmyn Ward & Alex Kotlowitz in Conversation
“An important contemporary voice: a sensitive, lyrical narrator of difficult stories from the land of Faulkner and Welty.— The New York Times
“An American Summer is at turns shocking, heart-rending, and deeply moving. But it is always important. This is about the soul of our country.”–Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels
MacArthur Fellow and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been hailed as the standout writer of her generation, proving her fearless and toughly lyrical voice in novels, memoir, and nonfiction. In 2017, she became the first woman and the first person of color to win two National Book Awards for Fiction. Ward’s writing, largely set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi—where she grew up and still lives—includes a memoir, Men We Reaped, and the novels Where the Line Bleeds; Salvage the Bones; and most recently, Sing, Unburied, Sing. She is also the editor of the critically acclaimed anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race.
Bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz is recognized for his unflinching portrayals of race and poverty in America. For more than three decades, Kotlowitz has brought an acute and empathetic lens to on-the-ground reporting in many forms of media—print and radio journalism, documentary film, and books. His 1991 book, There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America, garnered national recognition for its compassionate, unflinching portrait of Pharoah and Lafeyette Rivers and their lives growing up in a public housing project. In unforgettable storytelling, Kotlowitz deploys what Tracy Kidder terms “a powerful argument against the politics of inertia, hopelessness, and greed, and for a real war on poverty, violence, and racism in our country.”
For our inaugural Read Up, Richmond event, Kotlowitz will interview Ward live on stage, followed by an audience Q&A, Monday, October 14th at 7 pm. at the Richmond Public Library, Main Branch. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.