Beyond Borders: An Evening of Immigrant Fiction

Friday, February 1, 2019 @ 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2019-02-01 5:30 p.m. 2019-02-01 7:30 p.m. America/New_York Beyond Borders: An Evening of Immigrant Fiction 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Join us for an evening with some of the most exciting voices of contemporary fiction.

Each writer will read a little from her book, followed by a conversation on the timely topic of immigrant fiction in America. What does it mean to write fiction about immigrants or be immigrants or children of immigrants in the current political climate? What important need do immigrant voices in contemporary American literature fill? How can we move beyond borders and hyphens when we talk about contemporary literature?


Featured Writers:

Crystal Hana Kim’s debut novel If You Leave Me was published in August 2018. It has been named a notable book of 2018 by the Washington Post and ALA Booklist. It was longlisted for the Center for Fiction Novel Prize. Crystal was a 2017 PEN America Dau Short Story Prize winner and has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hedgebrook, Jentel, among others. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Elle Magazine, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Apogee Journal.


Naima Coster is the author of Halsey Street, a novel of family, loss, and renewal, set in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. Halsey Street has been recommended as a must-read for 2018 by People, Essence, Bustle, Electric Lit, BitchMedia, The Root, and Gotham Magazine, among others. It is a Finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction.
Naima’s stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Catapult, Arts & Letters, The Rumpus, Kweli, Guernica, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, as well as degrees from Fordham University and Yale. She is a proud alumna of Prep for Prep, a leadership development program in New York City. She has taught writing to students in jail, youth programs, and universities. Naima tweets as @zafatista and writes the newsletter, Bloom How You Must. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.

Wayétu Moore is the founder of One Moore Book, a non-profit publisher of culturally relevant children’s books. Her writing can be found in The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She’s a graduate of Howard University and the University of Southern California, and is currently a Margaret Mead Fellow at Columbia University Teachers College, where she’s researching the impact of culturally relevant curriculum and learning aids in elementary classrooms of underrepresented groups. Moore is an Africana Studies lecturer at City University of New York’s John Jay College, and founding faculty member of the Randolph College MFA program. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. Wayétu is the author of She Would Be King (Graywolf).

Shobha Rao moved to the United States from India at the age of seven. Her short story collection, An Unrestored Woman, focuses on the lives of women and children during the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. Her novel, Girls Burn Brighter, is a fictional account of poor girls from contemporary India journeying to the United States to find one another after one of them is trafficked. T.C. Boyle selected her short fiction for the 2015 Best American Short Stories. She is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction and the recipient of an Elizabeth P. George Foundation Fellowship. In a review of her work for the Los Angeles Times, Bethanne Patrick observed, “Shobha Rao writes cleanly and eloquently about women who, without their brightness, might have been left to die in their beds. She writes them into life, into existence, into the light of day.” Rao lives in San Francisco, and is currently the 2018 Grace Paley Teaching Fellow at The New School in New York City.

Cristina García  is the author of seven novels, including: Dreaming in Cuban—the 25th Anniversary edition is now out—The Agüero SistersMonkey HuntingA Handbook to LuckThe Lady Matador’s HotelKing of Cuba, and the recently published HERE IN BERLIN.

García has edited two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. Two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon, and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox were published in 2008 and a young adult novel, Dreams of Significant Girls, in 2011. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010.



Angie Cruz is the author of two novels, Soledad (2001) and Let It Rain Coffee (2005), She is the editor of Aster(ix), a literary/arts journal. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh and her novel, Dominicana is forthcoming with Flatiron Book in 2019.



Irina Reyn is the author of three novels, the forthcoming MOTHER COUNTRY, as well as WHAT HAPPENED TO ANNA K. and THE IMPERIAL WIFE. Born in Moscow and raised in New York and New Jersey, she is currently Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.




This program is presented in partnership with University of Pittsburgh University Research Council’s Research in Diversity initiative; University of Pittsburgh’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP); Aster(ix) Journal. 


Event Details

February 1, 2019 @ 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

Newsletter Signup