The Heart of a StrangerTuesday, November 19, 2019 @ 7:00pm - 8:30 p.m.
Join us for an evening honoring the release of The Heart of a Stranger: An Anthology of Exiled Literature. Editor André Naffis-Sahely, translator and poet Sholeh Wolpé, and contributor Fred D’Aguiar will read and recount their experiences bringing this anthology, a global treasury, to life.
(This event will be held downstairs in our intimate Word Cellar space)
Exile lies at the root of our earliest stories. Charting varied experiences of people forced to leave their homes from the ancient world to the present day, The Heart of a Stranger is an anthology of poetry, fiction and non-fiction that journeys through six continents, with over a hundred contributors drawn from twenty-four languages. Edited by poet and translator André Naffis-Sahely, The Heart of a Stranger offers a uniquely varied look at a theme both ancient and urgently contemporary.
André Naffis-Sahely is the author of the collection The Promised Land: Poems from Itinerant Life (Penguin, 2017) and the pamphlet The Other Side of Nowhere (Rough Trade Books, 2019). He is also the editor of The Heart of a Stranger: An Anthology of Exile Literature (Pushkin Press, 2019). His writing has appeared in The Nation, Harper’s, Poetry, New Statesman, Playboy, The Believer, The Economist, Financial Times and World Literature Today. His translations include over twenty titles of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Several have been featured as ‘Books of the Year’ in The Guardian, Literary Hub and National Public Radio. He lives in Los Angeles. Photo © Nina Subin
Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-born poet, writer and literary translator. Her performances, solo or in collaboration with musicians and artists, have been hailed by audiences as “mesmerizing.” The Inaugural Author in Residence at UCLA in 2018, she is the recipient of a 2014 PEN Heim, 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize as well as artist fellowship and residencies in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Australia and Switzerland. Sholeh’s literary work includes five collections of poetry, several plays, three books of translations, and three anthologies. She has taught poetry and literary translation at UCLA and University of Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program in the United States. Sholeh travels internationally as a performing poet, writer and public speaker. www.sholehwolpe.com
Fred D’Aguiar writes across genres: poetry, fiction, plays and essays. He currently teaches at UCLA, where he directs the undergraduate creative writing program. His most recent novel, his sixth, is about Jonestown, and titled, Children of Paradise (HarperCollins2014). His work is often highly politicized, addressing a sense of divided or dual identity. In his early poetry in particular D’Aguiar attempts to reconcile his early experiences in Guyana with his adult life in 1970s urban Britain. Although already an award-winning poet, during the 1990s D’Aguiar established himself as an important British novelist. His first novel, The Longest Memory (1994), won the Whitbread Prize for a first novel and has been compared favorably with Toni Morrison’s Beloved, but it brings a distinctively British sensibility to the subject of slavery and its historical legacy.