Does form or idea dictate narrative? Bestselling fiction writers Nadeem Aslam, Jami Attenberg, Peter Bagge and Sam Lipsyte discuss. Hosted and moderated by Siri Agrell.
Siri Agrell is a Toronto-based writer and communications strategist. She served as Deputy Director of Communications to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne after working for more than a decade as a reporter for publications like The Globe and Mail, National Post and Ottawa Citizen. She is the co-founder of TypeFace, a literary portrait project that benefits the Toronto Public Library Foundation. Her first book, Bad Bridesmaid, was published in 2007.
Nadeem Aslam has published three highly acclaimed novels, Season of the Rainbirds, Maps for Lost Lovers and The Wasted Vigil, and is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Aslam presents The Blind Man’s Garden, a beautiful yet tormenting novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan following the events of 9/11. Following Jeo and Mikal, two brothers who set off from their small town to care for wounded civilians in Afghanistan, this is a tale of unbreakable family ties and the inevitable loss of war.
Jami Attenberg is the author of a short-story collection, Instant Love, and two novels, The Kept Man and The Melting Season. She is currently the Fiction Editor of Maura Magazine, and has previously contributed essays and criticism to a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Nylon. Attenberg presents The Middlesteins, her New York Times-bestselling novel about marriage, family and our society’s often dangerous obsession with food. It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and named one of Amazon’s Top Ten Best Books of the Year.
Peter Bagge is the Harvey Award-winning author of the acclaimed alternative comic series Hate. A regular contributor to Reason magazine, Bagge got his start in comics in the magazine Weirdo. He presents Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, a factual yet fun graphic biography of the founder of Planned Parenthood. Bagge humanizes Sanger in his signature cartoony style, showing how both her compassionate nature and her flaws inspired her trailblazing activism and legacy.
Sam Lipsyte is the New York Times-bestselling author of Venus Drive, The Subject Steve, Home Land and The Ask. The winner of the first annual Believer Book Award and a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, he currently teaches writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. His writing has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Tin House and the Los Angeles Times. Hailed as “the most consistently funny fiction writer working today” by Time magazine, Lipsyte presents The Fun Parts, a hilarious collection of stories populated by a richly imagined cast of characters, including a male birth doula, a doomsday hustler and an aerobics instructor.