Events & exhibitions

Book Talk: Gish Jen

  • Tuesday, August 4, 2020
    4 PM ET
  • Online on Zoom
Artwork by Jordan Buscher

Join us this summer for a series of Virtual Radcliffe Book Talks exploring recent publications whose subjects or authors have a connection with the Radcliffe Institute.


Gish Jen ’77, BI ’87, RI ’02, author of The Resisters (Knopf, 2020)

Margot Livesey RI ’13, professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and author of Mercury (Harper, 2016)

Reading will be followed by discussion with Margot Livesey RI ’13, a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Mercury (Harper, 2016). The event will also feature an audience Q and A.

Event Video

Gish Jen ’77, BI ’87, RI ’02 is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Her short stories have appeared in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and dozens of other periodicals, textbooks, and anthologies; a spinoff from her recent novel The Resisters (Knopf, 2020), “Tell Me Everything,” was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review. Her work has been selected for The Best American Short Stories series four times, including in The Best American Short Stories of the Century (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000), edited by John Updike. Jen’s work was featured in a PBS American Masters special on the American novel; in 2003, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded her a five-year Mildred and Harold Strauss Living award. Jen is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award and of National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Radcliffe fellowships. She delivered the William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard in 2012. Her books include the text of those lectures, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self (Harvard University Press, 2013), and another nonfiction book, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap (Knopf, 2017). Her fiction titles include Typical American (Houghton Mifflin, 1991), Mona in the Promised Land (Knopf, 1996), Who’s Irish? (Knopf, 1999), The Love Wife (Knopf, 2004), and World and Town (Knopf, 2010). The Resisters is her eighth book.

Margot Livesey RI ’13 was born and grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. She has taught in numerous writing programs, including Boston University, Bowdoin College, Emerson College, and the Warren Wilson College low-residency MFA program, and is the author of a collection of stories and eight novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture (Henry Holt, 2001), The Flight of Gemma Hardy (Harper, 2012), and most recently, Mercury (Harper, 2016). Livesey has also published The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing (Tin House Books, 2017). She is the recipient of awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute. Livesey lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, a painter, and is on the faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her ninth novel, The Boy in the Field (Harper, 2020), will be published in August.

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