#AWP18 Featured Presenter Q&A with Carmen Maria Machado

AWP | February 2018

Event Title: A Reading & Conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah and Carmen Maria Machado, Sponsored by The Authors Guild
Description: Lesley Nneka Arimah’s short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. She was also a finalist for a National Magazine Award and the Caine Prize, and won the African Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award, among other honors. Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. Her stories have appeared in Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. The reading and conversation will be moderated by Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls.
Participants: Carmen Maria Machado, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Richard Russo
Location: Ballroom C & D, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Date & Time: Friday, March 9, 8:30p.m. – 10:00 p.m.    

Q: What are some of the conference events (besides your own) or bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing?
A: I'm always excited for the exhibits at Nightboat Books, Dorothy: a publishing project, and Small Beer Press! And I can't wait for the Stranger and Truthier Than Truth: Fiction in the Age of Trump, New (Per)mutations in Speculative Fiction, and The Speculative Essay panels.

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
A: Bennett Sims' White Dialogues, Jenny Zhang's Sour Heart, Sofia Samatar's Tender, and Lesley Nneka Armiah's What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

Q: What are a writer’s main responsibilities in this particular cultural moment?
A: To tell the truth, and tell it well.

Q: If you could run into any author, contemporary or historical, at #AWP18, who would it be and what would you talk about?
A: Angela Carter. I'd ask her how she kept from despairing in a terrible world.

Q: If you’ve been to Tampa before, what places do you recommend that our attendees should visit? 
A: I've only been there once before, but I went to the Salvador Dalí Museum and absolutely loved it.


Carmen Maria MachadoCarmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was the recipient of the Bard Fiction Prize as well as a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New YorkerTin HouseGranta, NPR, Guernica, and Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. She is the writer in residence at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.
(Photo Credit: Tom Storm)

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