F191. Raising Hell: Writing from the Extremes

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Terrorists! Cult leaders! Violent criminals! Psychopaths! This reading presents fiction writers who have given voice to the baleful extremes of human experience. What are the joys, risks, and responsibilities of writing sinister characters whom many readers might have trouble understanding? How should fiction writers think about depicting evil? What are potential difficulties? Join the panelists as they share perspectives and read from their work.



R.O. Kwon’s first novel, Heroics, is forthcoming. Other writing has appeared in Noon, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2016 NEA fellowship for fiction, she has also received scholarships and fellowships from Yaddo, Omi International, Bread Loaf, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

Roxane Gay is the author of An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, Difficult Women, and Hunger. She has work in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Oxford American, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

Tea Obreht's first novel, The Tiger's Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She was named as one of the New Yorker's 20 best fiction writers under 40. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper's, and Esquire.

Laura van den Berg is the author of two short story collections, more recently The Isle of Youth, which received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the Bard Fiction Prize, and the novel Find Me. She is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University.

Catherine Chung is the author of Forgotten Country and the recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship and an Honorable Mention for the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award. She is coeditor of the PEN/Guernica Flash Series, and a visitor at IAS in Princeton. Her novel, The Tenth Muse, is forthcoming.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center