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Sisterland and the Madison Writers&#039; Studio Conversation - Curtis Sittenfeld, Susanna Daniel, Michelle Wildgen, Mary Kay Zuravleff - <span class="date-display-single">10/18/2014 - 11:30am</span>

Sisterland and the Madison Writers' Studio Conversation

10/18/2014 - 11:30am

Central Library - Community Room

SISTERLAND tells the story of twins, Kate and Violet, who grow up extremely close—sharing a room, weathering the eccentricities of their parents, and delighting in the music and movies of their 1980s childhood. But in junior high, Kate makes a fateful decision that drives the sisters apart. Years later, Vi is living on the fringes of society while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, is doing everything she can to fit into suburban life. After a chance occurrence in the middle of the night, the sisters find themselves drawn together once again, forced to face the secrets of the past. As the sense of order Kate has worked so hard to create in her adult life begins to falter, it’s not clear whether Vi, the one person who knows her best, will save Kate—or be her undoing. Funny, haunting, and written with deep empathy and wisdom, SISTERLAND is a novel about the obligation we have towards others and the responsibility we take for our own actions.


Sometimes making things up is more nerve-wracking than reporting the facts. Following the reading, novelists Curtis Sittenfeld, Susanna Daniel, Michelle Wildgen, and Mary Kay Zuravleff discuss the topics they found most daunting to write about, whether it’s the sex scenes, the family issues, the characters they struggled to inhabit, or the topics they’ve decided not to write about at all. Join us for a chat about the third rails of writing.

Curtis Sittenfeld

About Presenter Curtis Sittenfeld


Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of the novels Prep, The Man of My Dreams, and American Wife, which have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her nonfiction has been published by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, Allure, and Glamour, and broadcast on public radio’s This American Life. She graduated from Stanford and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.



Susanna Daniel

About Presenter Susanna Daniel


Author Susanna Daniel’s debut novel, Stiltsville, was awarded the PEN/Bingham prize for best debut work published in 2010, and her second novel, Sea Creatures, was named an Amazon Editors’ Top Pick of the Best Books of August, 2013.  Susanna was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where she spent much of her childhood at her family’s stilt house in Biscayne Bay.  Susanna is a co-founder, with author Michelle Wildgen, of the Madison Writers’ Studio. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and was a Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Her writing has been published in NewsweekSlateOne StoryEpoch, and elsewhere.  Susanna lives with her husband and two young sons in Madison, Wisconsin, where during the long winter she dreams of the sun and the sea, and of jumping off the stilt house porch at high tide.


Sea Creatures

Michelle Wildgen

About Presenter Michelle Wildgen


Michelle Wildgen is the author of the novels Bread and ButterYou’re Not You, and But Not For Long.  The film adaptation of You’re Not You, a New York Times’ Editor’s Choice and one of People Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2006, stars Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum and was produced by DiNovi Pictures and 2S Films. Wildgen’s work includes fiction, essays, reviews, and food writing. She is a freelance writer, editor, and teacher, and an executive editor at the literary magazine Tin House. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.



Bread & Butter

Mary Kay Zuravleff

About Presenter Mary Kay Zuravleff


Mary Kay Zuravleff's third novel, Man Alive!, was just published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Her earlier books, The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls, were also published by FSG. Among the honors she has received are the American Academy's Rosenthal Award and the James Jones First Novel Award, and she was nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction. Mary Kay taught writing at American University, Johns Hopkins University, and George Mason University, and she has written and edited extensively for the Smithsonian Institution. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children. Mary Kay serves on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is a cofounder of the D.C. Women Writers Group.


Man Alive!

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