R274. Stranger and Truthier Than Truth: Fiction in the Age of Trump

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


There's an increasing movement to combat the turbulent political climate with nonfiction essays and personally revealing hot takes. However, fantasy worlds can act as society's mirror just as acutely. Part of resisting can be frivolity and a refusal to eschew whimsy. In a post-fact world, the most equipped soldiers can be those who deal in making it up. Award-winning fiction writers will talk about why the "lie" of fiction matters now, and how fiction can be truthier than truth.



Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of Safe as Houses and 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas. She teaches at NYU and in the MFA program at the Institute for American Indian Arts. An O. Henry and Pushcart Prize winner, she is the current Frank O'Connor International Short Story fellow in Cork, Ireland.

Manuel Gonzales is the author of the collection, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, and the forthcoming novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack!. He teaches creative writing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and at the low-residency MFA program at IAIA.

Helen Phillips is the author of four books, including the collection Some Possible Solutions, winner of the 2017 John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, was a finalist for The L.A. Times Book Prize and the NYPL's Young Lions Award.

Kelly Link is the author of Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and the forthcoming collection Get in Trouble. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. With Gavin J. Grant, she runs Small Beer Press.

Toni Jensen is the author of the story collection From the Hilltop. Her stories and essays have been published in journals and anthologies, including Catapult, Ecotone, and Denver Quarterly. She teaches creative writing at the University of Arkansas. She is Métis.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center