S255. Sympathy for All Devils

AWP Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Halls D & E, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Though unsympathetic narrators are common in fiction, there’s still an expectation that the essayist, and in particular the woman essayist, tread lightly and not only be sympathetic, but also avoid the unsympathetic. Panelists discuss the genre history and gender bias underlining these expectations, our experiences being unsympathetic essayists and empathizing with unsympathetic characters—from combatants to murderers—and what we stand to gain from sympathizing with the devil.



Lina Ferreira is works as a visiting assistant professor at the Ohio State University, as well as being the author of Drown Sever Sing and of Don't Come Back. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s creative nonfiction and literary translation programs.

Sarah Viren is a writer and translator based in West Texas. Her poetry and prose have appeared in AGNI, the Iowa Review, Guernica, Texas Monthly, and other magazines. She has been awarded a Fulbright student fellowship to Colombia and a Kerouac House Residency.

Kerry Howley is the author of Thrown, a 2014 New York Times Notable Book, and an assistant professor in the nonfiction writing program at the University of Iowa. Her essays, short stories, and reportage have appeared in Granta, the Paris Review, Harper's, and New York Magazine.

Kelli Jo Ford's fiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, among others. She's been a Dobie Paisano Fellow, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant recipient, and SAR's Indigenous Writer in Residence. She's a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Kristen Radtke's graphic memoir, Imagine Wanting Only This, is forthcoming in April. She is the managing editor of Sarabande Books and the film editor of TriQuarterly magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Oxford American, Guernica, and many other places.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center