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Susan Straight to Present Master Class at 17th Annual CityLit Festival

UPDATE! The 2020 CityLit Festival Has Been Postponed Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak. More Details to Come When Available.

Susan Straight, author of In the Country of Women and many other books, will present a 90-minute Master Class at the 17th Annual CityLit Festival on Saturday, March 21, 2020, from 11 am to 12:30 pm. The daylong festival will be held at the Enoch Pratt Free Library central location at 400 Cathedral Street in Baltimore.

Writing Home:

Stories of Landscape and Love, Food and Family

This master class is about writing and imagining the particular environments of home, wherever your home is, whether in a city or in rural country, whether home is in Baltimore or California, Mexico or Nigeria or China, or anywhere else.  We’ll consider what makes a home, from the drywall and stucco and wood of the walls to the linoleum or tile of the floor, to the grass or gravel in the yard, to the sidewalks of a gated community or the sidewalks of a city apartment, to the dirt roads of a farm or the ferries of an island community.  What if home is contained in one room, or one pot, or one person?  What if your home is truly a memory, or what if you’ve made the home you always wanted?

You’ll consider the home of your childhood, the home of your present life, the home of your dreams, and even whether your home was in someone else’s house.  We’ll read about other people’s homes and ask questions of each other about what we think home means.  We’ll write the singular or ordinary details of our homes, and everything there that makes that place what it is, good or bad, fondly recalled or desired to forget, down to the spoons and bricks and songs.

We’ll end with you writing pages about what home means to you, and whether you think your home in America is your true home, and most importantly, what the people of home mean to you.  This can be memoir, fiction, or poetry.  We’re looking for description, narrative and exposition of your home, what it means to you, and even the home you might desire and envy for future, or from your past.  How do we make home, decide structure and recall the evanescent of place and belonging? 

Click here to register!

Susan Straight is author of

I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots
In the Country of Women
Highwire Moon

and more!

About Susan Straight

SUSAN STRAIGHT has published eight novels, including Between Heaven and Here and A Million Nightingales. Her most recent work, In the Country of Women, was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence. She was a finalist for the National Book Award for Highwire Moon, currently reissued, and a recipient of the National Magazine Award, the Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story, the O. Henry Prize, with the honor of The Lannan Prize for Fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Granta, McSweeney’s, Black Clock, Harper’s, and included in literary journals The Sun and The Oxford American. Her work has been translated into Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, Romanian, Swedish, and Russian. She is the Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California in Riverside where she was born and raised, which also has been a subject of her fiction and nonfiction.

The Master Class about home will be based on Highwire Moon and In the Country of Women, stories of women, migration, and motherhood.

In the Country of Women: The award-winning author presents a narrative social history and tribute to the indomitable women ancestors of husband Dwayne Sims' family, whose resilient spirits were shaped by slavery, Jim Crow racism and abusive relationships.

Highwire Moon: Two generations of women—Serafina, a Mexican-Indian girl who emigrates illegally to California, and her daughter, Elvia, separated from her mother when Serafina is deported—struggle to maintain their dignity amidst the frequently brutal world of migrant farm labor.

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