The Melanie Brown Lecturer Series
The Melanie Brown Lecturer Series is one of the exciting opportunities for aspiring writers to meet established authors, specifically writers of fiction, through Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program. The Melanie Brown Lecturer is presented each year through the generosity of The Melanie and Fred R. Brown Endowed Fund.
Melanie Brown was inspired by the MFA program’s emphasis on nurturing creative writers in part through place-based writing. The selection of each year’s Melanie Brown Lecturer is guided by the desire to highlight fiction writers with a strong sense of place in her or his writing. Students will have opportunities to interact with the Melanie Brown Lecturer both in and out of the classroom.
2016 Melanie Brown Lecturer
In the words of Michael Cunningham, “Amy Bloom is a national treasure.” She is the author of three novels—Lucky Us, Away, and Love Invents Us—and three collections of short stories. Colum McCann writes that Lucky Us “is a poignant book that manages to be funny, an unflinching portrait that manages to be tender, a tough story that manages to also have jazz and grace.” And the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that “Bloom’s book beautifully explores the myriad ways in which we define and create the American family, and ultimately how we carve our path when life keeps throwing obstacles in our way.” Oprah chose Lucky Us as one of her top 10 books of 2014.
Bloom’s New York Times bestselling novel Away was called a “literary triumph” by the Times, while The Washington Post declared it, “desperate and impassioned, erotic and moving—absolutely hypnotic.” Her first novel, Love Invents Us, was called “an unsettling tale of desire.” Bloom’s short fiction includes Where the God Of Love Hangs Out, also a New York Times bestseller; Come to Me, a National Book Award finalist; and A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her first nonfiction book was Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitudes, now a staple of university sociology and biology courses. Bloom also has a children’s book, Little Sweet Potato, about appreciating one’s self and finding a community that takes all kinds. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages.
Lecture Date: October 18, 2016