Jenn Shapland melds genres and subjects in MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CARSON MCCULLERS

 

Jenn Shapland melds genres and subjects in My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

Wednesday 2/12, 7 pm

While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson and a woman named Annemarie—letters are that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters’ language—but does not see Carson as history has portrayed her.

And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of Carson's life: She wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at Carson’s childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives Carson’s days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and Carson, she see the way Carson’s story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results articulate something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers’s to create a vital new portrait of one of America’s most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.

In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers’s to create a vital new portrait of one of America’s most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.


Jenn Shapland is a writer living in New Mexico. Her nonfiction has been published in Tin House, Outside, the Lifted Brow, Essay Daily, and elsewhere. She won the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism, and her essay "Finders, Keepers" won a 2017 Pushcart Prize. She teaches as an adjunct in the Creative Writing department at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her first book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, will be available from Tin House Books in February 2020.

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781947793286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - February 4th, 2020