House of SpeakEasy Blog

Writers and Storytelling: Sanjena Sathian

A Paul and Daisy Soros fellow, Sanjena Sathian is a 2019 graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as a reporter in Mumbai and San Francisco, with nonfiction bylines for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Food & Wine, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. And her award-winning short fiction has been published in Boulevard, Joyland, Salt Hill, and The Master’s Review. Her debut novel Gold Diggers is out now.

On April 20th, Sanjena will join Annabelle Gurwitch and Michelle Nijhuis in our next edition of “Seriously Entertaining” where they will each tell stories tied to the theme “Only Home We’ve Ever Known.” Register here for the show!

 

What are you reading right now for solace or escape or entertainment?

At the moment, I’m reading The Four Books by Yan Lianke. I’m not sure it’s solace, escape, OR entertainment, but it’s a completely brilliant, Kafkaesque satire about China’s Great Leap Forward.

If you could live inside a fictional world, which one would you choose?

It would be fun to be college friends with Selin from Elif Batuman’s The Idiot or to have drinks and kvetch with any of Lorrie Moore’s female characters.

Are there any quotes you use to inspire you?

From Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “The Art of Disappearing”: “When someone recognizes you in a grocery store/nod briefly and become a cabbage.”

Writers and Storytelling: Kevin Mattson

Kevin Mattson grew up in the suburban sprawl known as the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. It was here that he first experienced the “punk rock world” that fueled his formative years. He played in bands, wrote for zines, and became politically active, helping to cofound the organization Positive Force. He now teaches American history at Ohio University and is the author of numerous books that explore the intersection between culture and politics, including Upton Sinclair and the Other...

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Writers and Storytelling: Sameer Pandya

Sameer Pandya is the author of the story collection The Blind Writer, which was longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award. He is also the recipient of the PEN/Civitella Fellowship. His fiction, commentary, and cultural criticism has appeared in a range of publications, including the Atlantic, Salon, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Narrative Magazine. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Members Only is his first...

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Writers and Storytelling: Marina Budhos

Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Marina is the author of the young adult novels Tell Us We’re Home, which was a 2017 Essex County YA Pick, and Ask Me No Questions, recipient of the first James Cook Teen Book Award, an ALA Best Book and Chicago Library’s Best of the Best, among other awards. Her most recent novel is Watched, a follow-up to Ask Me No Questions, which takes on surveillance in a post 9/11 era. Watched received an Asian/Pacific American Award for...

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Writers and Storytelling: Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, Apocalyptic Swing (a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University; a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer’s Award; a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, TX; the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review; and a...

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WRITERS AND STORYTELLING: Torrey Maldonado

New York City's current and former Chancellors have praised Torrey Maldonado as a top teacher and author. He has taught for over twenty years in his Brooklyn childhood hometown. His middle-grade titles include Tight, which won a Christopher Award and was named a Washington Post and NPR best book of the year, Secret Saturdays, and, most recently, What Lane?. Growing up, Torrey hated books because “they were boring or seemed to hate or dismiss people where I’m from.” Culturally responsive books...

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Writers and Storytelling: Adam Begley

Adam Begley is the author of Houdini: The Elusive American (2020); The Great Nadar, The Man Behind the Camera (2017); and Updike (2014). For many years the books editor of The New York Observer, he has been a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, London Review of Books, TLS, and Spectator. He lives with his wife in Cambridgeshire, England. How has the current state of things...

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WRITERS AND STORYTELLING: DAVID KILCULLEN

Dr. David Kilcullen is the author of five prize-winning books on terrorism, insurgency, urbanization and future warfare, including The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West, as well as numerous scholarly papers on urbanization, conflict and the evolution of warfare. He won the Walkley Award (Australia's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize) for long-form journalism in 2015, for his reporting on the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He is contributing editor for...

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Writers and Storytelling: Anne Nelson

Anne Nelson is the author of Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right a ground-breaking exploration of the coalition of fundamentalists and oil who helped bring Trump to power. Nelson began her professional career on the editorial staff of The New Yorker. In 1995 she became the director of the International Program of the Columbia School of Journalism. She has taught and conducted research on digital media and development at Columbia's School of International and...

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Writers and Storytelling: Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Interim Executive Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby & Black Girl Magic, Kissing Caskets, & Dear Twitter. She is also the founder of Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign)...

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