PURE COLOUR book jacket


Alumni Lounge

Presented in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, host of the 2023 Society for Novel Studies' Bi-annual Conference. Novelist Sheila Heti will deliver a keynote address on “Where Do the Words Come From?" 

The Society for Novel Studies exists to further the study of the novel as a genre and to examine the role of fiction in engaging, formulating, and shaping the world. 

This year, join in a conversation on the theme of "The Novel and the Archive". Understanding the novel as a historical and contemporary phenomenon, as a genre continually open to change and experimentation, and as a national, regional, transnational, and global form. What does the novel archive? And how does the archive manage the novel’s horizons?

Sheila Heti

Sheila Heti photo

Sheila Heti is the author of 10 books of fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent novel is Pure Colour (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022), which The Atlantic called “unabashedly metaphysical.” Her other books include Motherhood (Henry Holt & Co., 2018), named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, Vulture (#1 of 2018), NPR, Chicago Tribune, and others. Dwight Garner writing in The New York Times called it, “earthy and philosophical and essential.” Her novel, How Should a Person Be? (House of Anansi Press, 2010)  was named one of the twelve “New Classics of the 21st century” by Vulture. It was a New York Times Notable Book, a best book of the year in The New Yorker, and was cited by Time as "one of the most talked-about books of the year.” Other books include the novel Ticknor (House of Anansi, 2005) described by Publisher’s Weekly as “deliciously intimate and clue-riddled as a Poe story;” and the short story collection, The Middle Stories (House of Anansi, 2004). Heti was named one of "The New Vanguard" by The New York Times book critics, a list of fifteen women writers from around the world who are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.

Her nonfiction includes New York Times bestseller, Women in Clothes (Riverhead, 2014), edited with Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits, which features the voices of 639 women from around the world, speaking about the wide range of motives that inform how they present themselves through clothes; and The Chairs are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City (FSG, 2011), with Misha Glouberman, a “triumph...of “conversational philosophy,” according to The New Yorker. Her play, All Our Happy Days are Stupid, had sold-out runs at The Kitchen in New York and Videofag in Toronto. Her children’s book, We Need a Horse (McSweeney’s, 2011), was called a “subtle existential meditation” in Publisher’s Weekly. Her books have been translated into 21 languages. Heti is currently developing a new play called The Dug Out.

Recent Book
Pure Colour