As part of Festival America, join authors Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and Viet Thanh Nguyen for a discussion on visibility and invisibility in literature. Invisible as minorities, visible as stereotypes, and highly visible as threats, Asian Americans like Black Americans like First Nation Americans constantly slip in and out of sight, rarely seen for who they are. How can literature disrupt this slippage? How can writing authentically illuminate the overlooked corners of society? Equipped with humor and violence, theory and experience, the best literature exposes not only the hidden tensions of the world, but the hidden tensions of the reader herself. In exposing depths and wounds, literature which makes the invisible visible can be seen as a type of cure.
About the speakers:
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the author of the New York Times-bestselling story collection Friday Black (2018). His writing has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Literary Hub, the Paris Review, and Guernica. Adjei-Brenyah’s forthcoming debut novel Chain-Gang All-Stars will be published in 2023.
Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of eight works. His 2016 novel The Sympathizer was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Adjei-Brenyah and Nguyen will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
This discussion will be in English.