Nathalie Handal and Angie Cruz
Nov 5, 2019 - Nov 5, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Nathalie Handal was raised in Latin America, France and the Middle East, and educated in Asia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. She is the author of numerous poetry collections, most recently, Life in a Country Album (2019) of which Claire Messud writes, “A contemporary Orpheus, she hymns our most urgent and ineffable truths,” and the flash collection The Republics, lauded as “one of the most inventive books by one of today’s most diverse writers” and winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing and the Arab American Book Award. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Guernica Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Nation, The Irish Times, among others. Handal is the recipient of awards from The Lannan Foundation, PEN Foundation, PEN Foundation, Centro Andaluz de las Letras, Fondazione di Venezia, among others. She is a professor at Columbia University, and writes the literary travel column “The City and the Writer” for Words without Borders magazine.
From migrations to pop culture, loss to la dérive, Life in a Country Album is a soundtrack of the global cultural landscape—borders and citizenship, hybrid identities and home, freedom and pleasure. It’s a vast and moving look at the world, at what home means, and the ways we coexist in an increasingly divided world. These poems are about the dialects of the heart—those we are incapable of parting from, and those that are largely forgotten. Life in a Country Album is a vital book for our times. With this beautiful, epic collection, Nathalie Handal affirms herself as one of our most diverse and important contemporary poets.
Angie Cruz is the author of three novels, Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee, a finalist in 2007 for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and, most recently, Dominicana. She has published work in The New York Times, VQR, Gulf Coast Literary Journal, and other publications, and has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. She is founder and editor in chief of Aster(ix), a literary and arts journal, and is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.
Hailed as “an essential read for our times,” (Christina Garcia,) Dominicana is the 2019 inaugural selection for Uptown Reads, a program by Word Up Community Bookshop in partnership with organizations across Uptown NYC.
“This coming-of-age novel with its unforgettable young heroine takes on the pressing questions of the day—immigration, identity, the claim to Americanness—with a deceptively light touch and a whole lot of charm.” —Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
“This story feels so right for this moment. Cruz captures the texture and tenor of being an immigrant woman, caught between worlds and loyalties.”—Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of The Butterflies