Textploitation: Topical Issues in Fiction
Thursday, March 9, 2023
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm
In an adrenaline-driven culture rife with fearmongering and trauma porn, how do we write conscientious fiction about local, national or global issues and emergencies? Given the damage and desensitization linked to our constant exposure to bleed-and-lead news, many writers grapple with exercising awareness, optimism and empathy while shining a light on injustice, treachery, and tragedy. Five award-winning authors/editors discuss illuminating—vs. sensationalizing—real-life topics in fictional work.
Soma Mei Sheng Frazier's debut novel is forthcoming from Holt in 2024, repped by Victoria Sanders & Associates. She is founding editor of Subnivean, SUNY Oswego's undergraduate-staffed literary publication. Her work has appeared in or won nods from HBO, Zoetrope-All Story, ZYZZYVA, Hyphen, and Story.
Tomas Monz’s debut novel, Big Familia, was a finalist for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway, the Lambda, and the Foreword Indies Awards. He edited the popular Rad Dad zine for over a decade and the book Rad Families. He’s a 2020 Artist Affiliate for Headlands Center for Arts and 2022 UCross Resident.
Miah Jeffra is the author of four books, most recently The Violence Almanac and American Gospel, and coeditor of the anthology Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart. They are founding editor of queer and trans literary collaborative, Foglifter Press.
Joseph Han is the author of Nuclear Family and a 2022 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. A recipient of a Kundiman fellowship, his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Lit Hub, and Catapult.
Keenan Norris is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His books include the novel The Confession of Copeland Cane and the nonfiction work Chi Boy. His short work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, and Alta. He teaches at San Jose State University.