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An Afternoon of New Fiction with Lynn Schmeidler, Ananda Lima, & Carol Mitchell in person at HVWC

April 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Free – $25.00

Join Jennifer Franklin for an afternoon of prose as she welcomes Lynn Schmeidler, Ananda Lima, and Carol Mitchell for a reading and Q&A about their new books.

Lynn Schmeidler is the author of Half-Lives (March 2024) which was selected by Matt Bell as the winner of the 2023 Autumn House Rising Writer Prize in Fiction. Her story, “InventEd” was chosen by Jonathan Lethem as the winner of BOMB’s 2023 Fiction Contest. Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Georgia Review, KROnline, The Southern Review and other venues. She is also the author of three poetry books: History of Gone (Veliz Books), Wrack Lines (Grayson Books) and the award-winning Curiouser & Curiouser (Grayson Books). Schmeidler’s writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has been listed under Other Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of a Sewanee Writers Conference Tennessee Williams scholarship in fiction and has been awarded residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She and her husband live in the Hudson Valley.

Half-Lives is the 2023 Rising Writer Prize winner, selected by Matt Bell. It is a playful debut short story collection imagining women’s lives in a world free of social limitations. Amid heightened restrictions about what women can and cannot do with their bodies, Lynn Schmeidler’s debut short story collection, Half-Lives, is a humane, absurd, and timely collection of narratives centering on women’s bodies and psyches. Playful and experimental, these sixteen stories explore girlhood, sexuality, motherhood, identity, and aging in a world where structures of societal norms, narrative, gender, and sometimes even physics do not apply. The protagonists grapple with the roles they choose and with those that are thrust upon them as they navigate their ever-evolving emotional lives. A woman lists her vagina on Airbnb, Sleeping Beauty is a yoga teacher who lies in state on the dais of her mother’s studio, and a museum intern writes a confession of her affair in the form of a hijacked museum audio guide.

Ananda Lima is a poet, translator, and fiction writer, author of Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil (Tor, 2024) and the poetry collection Mother/land, winner of the 2020 Hudson Prize. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poets.org, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Poets & Writers, Witness, and elsewhere. She was awarded the inaugural WIP Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing, sponsored by Macmillan Publishers, was a finalist for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing and the Chirby Awards. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA from Rutgers University, Newark. Her voice was praised as “singular and wise” (Cathy Park Hong), and Craft was described as “an absolutely thrilling reminder that short stories can be the best kind of magic” (Kelly Link). She was born in Brasília, Brazil, and now lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Strange, intimate, haunted, and hungry—Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil is an intoxicating and surreal fiction debut by award-winning author Ananda Lima.

“An astounding new voice.” —ERIC LaROCCA • “I love it so much.” —KELLY LINK • “Trippy, eerie, wry, and always profound.” —JOHN KEENE • “Incredible. Truly wondrous.” —KEVIN WILSON • “Heart wrenching and wickedly funny.” —GWEN KIRBY • “Propulsive, uncanny, and expertly built.” —JULIA FINE

At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil. She sees him again and again throughout her life and she writes stories for him about things that are both impossible and true. Lima lures readers into surreal pockets of the United States and Brazil where they’ll find bite-size Americans in vending machines and the ghosts of people who are not dead. Once there, she speaks to modern Brazilian-American immigrant experiences–of ambition, fear, longing, and belonging—and reveals the porousness of storytelling and of the places we call home. With humor, an exquisite imagination, and a voice praised as “singular and wise and fresh” (Cathy Park Hong), Lima joins the literary lineage of Bulgakov and Lispector and the company of writers today like Ted Chiang, Carmen Maria Machado, and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. A great next read for fans of Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties and V. E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Carol Mitchell describes herself (in jest) as being in self-imposed exile from her Caribbean home. She holds an MFA and teaches writing in Virginia. She is also a fellow of the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her short stories have appeared in various Caribbean journals and four of them have been long-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She has written 18 children’s books. What Start Bad a Mornin’ is her debut adult novel.

“What start bad a mornin’, cyan end good a evenin’.” — Jamaican proverb
Amaya Lin has few memories of the years before she turned eighteen. Now in her forties, she has compensated by carefully cultivating a satisfying life as a wife, mother, and business professional. Her husband’s law practice is on the brink of major success; her neurodiverse son has grown into an independent adult; and she has come to terms with her aunt’s dementia. This sense of order is disrupted, however, when she encounters a stranger who claims to have an impossible connection, launching Amaya on a tumultuous journey into the past.
Using three interwoven narratives spanning the United States, Trinidad, and Jamaica, Carol Mitchell’s debut gives voice to an immigrant woman forced to confront her repressed memories of violent trauma. Only then can she discover what she is capable of when it comes to self-preservation and the protection of her family.

Editorial Reviews:

“Mitchell’s ability to sustain tension while telling a nuanced story that balances family tragedy with a vision of acceptance and support makes this an engaging and life-affirming read.” — Booklist

“What Start Bad a Mornin’ is a breathtaking novel. Amaya Lin, loving mother, wife and caretaker of many, has built a life that is on the verge of collapse when a hidden past sweeps in. I was riveted by the revelations that followed, stunned by the conclusion. Carol Mitchell is a writer of immense talent and this is a stellar debut.” — Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park

“Illustrates the far-reaching power—and damage—of forgetting.” — Foreword Reviews

“With luminous prose, Carol Mitchell tells the story of every Caribbean immigrant, indeed any immigrant, who has had to remake a life they have known in their homeland for the uncertainties in the US where race is often the determinant for success. What Start Bad a Mornin’ leaves the reader with empathy for the passions that drive the ambitions of the vividly-drawn characters, and, at the same time, it is a cautionary tale about the consequences of repressing childhood trauma. A compelling debut novel.” — Elizabeth Nunez, author of Prospero’s Daughter and Now Lila Knows

In honor of National Poetry Month, attendees of HVWC’s IN-PERSON Readings will receive THREE contest-winning titles from Slapering Hol Press.


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April 21
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Free – $25.00