S260. Reimagining Tragedy: What Happened Here?

D136, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Whether murders, street battles, or space disasters, public tragedies are literary sparks. Five fiction writers consider the opportunities and challenges of writing about grim public events. We discuss strategies for dealing imaginatively with true—sometimes violent—events, navigating the wobbly line between fact and fiction, and the possibility for literature to question official histories and represent marginalized experiences.



Kathryn Schwille is the author of a novel, What Luck, This Life. Her fiction has twice been cited for Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize, and she's the recipient of a fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. She’s on the regular faculty at Charlotte Center for Literary Arts.

Nan Cuba's fiction appeared in Columbia, Antioch Review, and Printer's Row. She reported on causes of extraordinary violence in Life and D Magazine. Her books are Body and Bread (PEN/Southwest and Steven Turner Awards) and Art at Our Doorstep (coeditor). She founded a literary center, Gemini Ink.

Adrianne Harun is the author of two story collections, The King of Limbo and Catch/Release; as well as a novel, A Man Came Out of the Door in the Mountain. She has been on the faculties of the Sewanee School of Letters and the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

Sunil Yapa’s debut novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist was a finalist for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner award. Yapa’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Guernica, O Magazine, Poets & Writers, LitHub, and others. He teaches in the MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.

Claudia Salazar-Jiménez is a Peruvian-born writer and scholar. She holds a PhD from New York University. Her debut novel Blood of the Dawn was awarded the Las Americas Narrative Prize of Novel in 2014. She also received the TUMI-USA Award in 2015. 


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center