Visiting Writers Mira Jacob and Chinelo Okparanta

Monday, April 13, 2020 7:30 PM
Fenwick Library, #2001

Mira Jacob and Chinelo Okparanta are among six visiting writers hosted this semester by the Creative Writing Program.

Fiction: Chinelo Okparanta is the author of the novel Under the Udala Trees and the short story collection, Happiness, Like Water, which was cited as an editors’ choice in the New York Times Book Review and was named on the list of The Guardian’s Best African Fiction of 2013. The book was nominated for the Nigerian Writers Award (Young Motivational Writer of the Year), longlisted for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and was a finalist for the 2014 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award as well as the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She has published work in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Kenyon Review, AGNI, and other venues, and was named one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012. In 2017, Okparanta was named one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, she received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is currently Associate Professor of English & Creative Writing (Fiction) and Margaret Hollinshead Ley Professor in Poetry & Creative Writing at Bucknell University. 

Nonfiction: Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, and longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize. It was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions. Her writing and drawings have appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, Tin House, Literary HubGuernicaVogue, the Telegraph, and Buzzfeed, and she has a drawn column on Shondaland. She currently teaches at The New School, and she is a founding faculty member of the MFA Program at Randolph College. She is the co-founder of Pete’s Reading Series in Brooklyn, where she spent 13 years bringing literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry to Williamsburg.