PEN Out Loud: Saidiya Hartman with Leslie Jamison
2019 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Saidiya Hartman celebrates the paperback release of her radical historical narrative, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, a genre-defying exploration of twentieth century young Black women. Hartman will be joined in conversation with bestselling author Leslie Jamison (Make It Scream, Make It Burn) to read from her work, and to discuss her creative process, the book’s critique of portrayals of Black women and girls, and what it means to live freely.
Presented in collaboration with Strand Book Store.
Check out our other PEN Out Loud events with:
Mitchell S. Jackson and Imani Perry (Feb. 12) »
Ken Liu and Andrew Marantz (Mar. 3) »
Bernardine Evaristo and Safiya Sinclair (Mar. 19) »
Emily St. John Mandel and Samantha Hunt (Mar. 25) »
Saidiya Hartman is the author of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford, 1997); Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007) and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments (Norton, 2019). She is currently at work on a new book project, N Folio: An Essay on Narrative and the Archive. She has published articles on slavery, history and the archive, and black women’s lives, including “The Terrible Beauty of the Slum, ” “Venus in Two Acts,” and “The Belly of the World.” She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2019. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2018-2019, and has been a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana, a Whitney Oates Fellow at Princeton University, and a Critical Inquiry Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. She received her BA from Wesleyan University and her PhD from Yale. She has taught at the University of California at Berkeley and is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at Columbia University. She is the former director of the Institute for Research on Gender and Sexuality.
Leslie Jamison was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Los Angeles. She has worked as a baker, an office temp, an innkeeper, a tutor, and a medical actor. She is the author of the novel The Gin Closet, the essay collection The Empathy Exams, the critical memoir The Recovering, and recently, the essay collection Make It Scream, Make It Burn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Believer, among others. She teaches at the Columbia University MFA program, where she directs the nonfiction concentration.