I Am America: The Weight of History
Originally Aired: Tuesday June 12, 2018
As part of the I Am America series, writers Terese Marie Mailhot and Angela Flournoy discuss how we reckon with the historical legacies that are handed down to us, and how they become part of our personal stories. Noreen Tomassi will serve as moderator and host.
In her bestselling memoir Heart Berries, Mailhot looks at growing up on Seabird Island Indian Reservation in Canada. Flournoy’s novel The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, traces the story of generations of an African American family through their home on Detroit’s East Side.
About the panelists:
Terese Marie Mailhot is from Seabird Island Band. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Heart Berries: A Memoir. She graduated with an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her writing appears in West Branch, Guernica, Pacific Standard, Elle, The LA Times, Longreads, Medium, and elsewhere. She serves as faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts and she’s a Tecumseh Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University.
Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and an NAACP Image Award. She was a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Honoree for 2015. Flournoy was the 2016-17 Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. She most recently taught at Princeton University.
About the host:
Noreen Tomassi is the Executive Director of The Center for Fiction. Her books include American Visions/Visiones de las Americas: Artistic & Cultural Identity in the Americas, and she was co-creator, with Jane Alexander and Birgitta Trommler, of “What of the Night,” a play based on the life and work of Djuna Barnes.
This event is part of I Am America, a conversation series about what it means to be a part of these (sometimes) United States, presented by The Center for Fiction and The Greene Space at WNYC.