PEN Out Loud: 2018 PEN Literary Awards Salon

With Nadxieli Nieto, Hannah Lillith Assadi, Victor LaValle, Nicole Sealey, & Hari Kunzru

As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie so eloquently puts it, “when we realize there is never a single story about a place, we regain a kind of paradise." PEN Literary Awards finalists Hari Kunzru, Victor LaValle, Nicole Sealey, and Hannah Lillith Assadi read from their work, and bring a glimpse of paradise to the Strand Book Store. Through a wide range of genres and themes, we celebrate the multiplicity of American stories which define the American literary canon as we know it, showcasing the masterful breadth of work being published and celebrated today.

Hannah Lillith Assadi holds an MFA in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts. She was raised in Arizona and lives in Brooklyn. Her novel Sonora (Soho 2017) received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.

Hari Kunzuru is the author of five novels, most recently White Tears. His work has been translated into twenty-one languages, and his short stories and journalism have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The New York Public Library, and the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Brooklyn.

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, finalist for the 2018 PEN Open Book Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming to Best American Poetry 2018,The New Yorker,The New York Times and elsewhere. Nicole holds an MLA in Africana studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation and the 2018-2019 Doris Lippman Visiting Poet at The City College of New York.

Victor LaValle is the author of seven works of fiction and one comic book. His most recent novel, The Changeling, was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2017 by Time Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Public Library. His comic book, Victor LaValle's Destroyer, is a continuation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein taking place in the modern day and tackling contemporary political issues. He teaches writing at Columbia University.