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The Short Sory and the Art of Not Knowing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Episode Summary

Two brilliant young writers (among the New Yorker's \"Twenty Under Forty\" noted fiction writers) read and discuss their work and the role of the unexpected in writing fiction.

Participant(s) Bio

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and an NEA Fellowship, she directs the MFA program in writing at the University of California, San Diego. She lives in Los Angeles and was recently named one of "20 Under 40" fiction writers by the New Yorker.

Yiyun Li is the author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants. A native of Beijing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is the recipient of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Whiting Writers' Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and is a 2010 recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant. In 2007, Granta named her one of the best American novelists under thirty-five. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among others. She teaches writing at the University of California, Davis.

Brighde Mullins' plays have been produced in New York, London, and San Francisco. Titles include:Monkey in the Middle, Fire Eater, Topographical Eden; Pathological Venus. She has received a Whiting Foundation Award; an NEA Fellowship and others. She has taught at Harvard University and at Brown University, and for fifteen years she curated the Reading Series at Dia Art Foundation in New York. She is currently the Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC.