Achy Obejas, Porochista Khakpour & Danzy Senna (2011)

On January 14th 2011 authors Porochista Khakpour, Achy Obejas and Danzy Senna explore race, politics, family, and cultural dislocation in conversation as part of the PEN/Faulkner reading series at Folger Shakespeare Library. Khakpour’s debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Obejas is an award-winning novelist, poet and translator. Senna’s debut novel Caucasia received awards from the American Library Association and the Book of the Month Club.

Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran and raised in Los Angeles. Her debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, was named a New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Chicago Tribune “Fall’s Best,” and 2007 California Book Award winner. Other writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Village Voice, among other publications. Currently on the faculty of Fairfield University’s low-residency MFA, she is also an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Achy Obejas is the author of the novel Ruins, three other books of fiction, and a bestselling poetry chapbook, This is What Happened in Our Other Life. Her translation, into Spanish, of Junot Díaz’ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao /La Breve y Maravillosa Vida de Óscar Wao was a finalist for Spain’s Esther Benítez Translation Prize from the national translator’s association. She is currently the Sor Juana Writer in Residence at Depaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Danzy Senna ‘s debut novel Caucasia was awarded the Book of the Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, among others. Her second novel, Symptomatic, is a psychological thriller on the complicated topic of race and identity. Danzy Senna’s newest book is the memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History. She lives in Los Angeles, California.