F278. I Wrote My First Book Because I Wanted to Read It: Black Women and Their Debut Fiction

Room 406 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Toni Morrison has said that she wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, because she wanted to read it. bell hooks has said that no black woman writer in this culture can write "too much." This panel examines the ways in which contemporary black women writers, in a "post-race" climate, have decided to approach their debut work in relation to the idea that books by black women aren’t being published enough or engaged critically.



Danielle Evans is the author of the short story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. She teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cole Lavalais received her MFA from Chicago State University. She is a fellow of the Callaloo, VONA, and Kimbilio Writer’s Workshops. Her work has appeared in several print and online literary journals. Her debut novel is forthcoming.

Naomi Jackson is the author of The Star Side of Bird Hill. She studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town.

Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which is a Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Jacinda Townsend is the author of the novel Saint Monkey, which is the 2015 winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. A former Fulbright fellow and Iowa Writers Workshop graduate, she teaches in the MFA program at Indiana University.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center