S263. Shame as a Driver of Marginalized Female Narrative Unreliability

E141-142, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


When writing intersectionally marginalized female characters, how do we acknowledge their society-inflicted shame-driven narrative unreliability? Novelists Ana Menéndez and Ariel Gore share how they've used craft elements to do so. Moderator Candace Walsh also presents examples from Zadie Smith’s “Crazy They Call Me” and Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties. Learn how to use shame to write rich characters and to reveal subtle truths that would otherwise go untold.



Candace Walsh is the author of Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Identity, a New Mexico–Arizona Book Award winner, and has edited four anthologies, including two Lambda Literary Award Finalists. 

Ariel Gore is the author of ten books including We Were WitchesThe End of Eve (Hawthorne Books, 2014), Bluebird, How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead, and Atlas of the Human Heart.

Ana Menéndez is the author of four books of fiction: In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, Loving Che, The Last War, and Adios, Happy Homeland! A former Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, she has worked as a teacher and reporter in the US and abroad. She is now a program director at FIU in Miami.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center