More than 1,700 bibliophiles gathered on campus March 1-3 for LitFest 2018, the College’s third annual literary festival that included conversations and book signings with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, 2017 National Book Award finalists Carmen Maria Machado and Min Jin Lee, 2017 National Book Award winner and Amherst professor Masha Gessen, and acclaimed Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, among others. Additional activities included master classes, a poetry slam, panel conversations and tours of the Emily Dickinson Museum. The Common, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, and the Emily Dickinson Museum partner with the College on this event. Click here for the full write-up and more photos.
Once again, The Common and Amherst College are honored to welcome a selection of visionary authors to our third annual LitFest–a weekend long series of events celebrating literary brilliance and nuanced expression. The talks, workshops, and panels will include, among other voices, 2017 National Book Award Finalists. This month, our staff and interns have chosen their reading in anticipation of our guests, and we present here our thoughts on just a few of these dazzling works. For more information on LitFest, please visit the Amherst College website.
Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded numerous fellowships and residencies from organizations that include the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Yaddo Corporation, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her memoir, House in Indiana, is forthcoming in 2019 from Graywolf Press. Carmen Maria Machado will be at Amherst College on March 1st at 7:30 for a National Book Awards on Campus Conversation, which is a part of LitFest 2018.
This summer Hilary Leichter met with Machado at her home in Philadelphia, where Machado is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Thing That Would Unmake You: an Interview with Carmen Maria Machado