S116. Murder She Wrote: Women Writers on Writing Violence

Liberty Salon I, J, & K, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Saturday, February 11, 2017
9:00 am to 10:15 am


From the deaths of the Clutter family in In Cold Blood to Sethe’s murder of her daughter in Beloved, brutal violence figures prominently in some of our most loved books. But how much blood on the page is vivid, arresting writing—and how much crosses over into sensationalism or exploitation? Five writers whose books grapple with violence—both real and imagined--talk about the choices, ethics, and strategies of rendering moments of high crime.



Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's first book, The Fact of a Body: A Murder & A Memoir, is forthcoming in the US and internationally. An NEA Fellow and Harvard JD, her essays appear in The New York Times and Oxford American. She teaches at Grub Street and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Robin Wasserman is the author of the novel Girls on Fire. Her nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the LA Review of Books, Tin House, VQR, and The New York Times. She is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University.

R.O. Kwon’s first novel, Heroics, is forthcoming. Other writing has appeared in NoonPloughshares, 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.

Nancy Rommelmann writes for the Wall Street Journal, the LA Weekly, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications. Her nonfiction book To the Bridge, about a mother who dropped her two young children from a bridge in Portland, Oregon, in 2009, is forthcoming.

Chinelo Okparanta is the author of Happiness, Like Water. A 2014 O. Henry Prize winner, and a 2014 Lambda Literary Award winner for fiction, she was a finalist for the 2014 New York Public Young Lions Fiction Award and for the 2014 Rolex Mentors and Protégés Arts Initiative. Her stories have appeared in Granta, the New Yorker, and Tin House, among other journals.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center