Professor Annamarie Jagose joins acclaimed authors Alexander Chee and Rebecca Makkai to reflect on writing as an act of remembrance that moves beyond the easy clichés of victimhood in portraying mortality, rage, love and loss. Alexander’s collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel includes an account of his time in San Francisco at the height of the AIDS crisis, while Rebecca’s sprawling novel The Great Believers chronicles the HIV and AIDS epidemic from 1980s Chicago to today.

Supported by ARA.

Rebecca Makkai (International)

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Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novel The Great Believers, winner of the ALA Carneige Medal, one of the New York Times' top ten books for 2018, a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s 2018 Best Books. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime — four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers' Conference and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Alexander Chee (International)

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Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at the New Republic, an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review, and a critic at large at the Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Guernica, and Tin House, among others. He is an Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is an essay collection exploring his education as a man, writer, and activist — and how we form our identities in life and in art. It was named a Best Book of 2018 by Publisher’s Weekly, Time Magazine, New York Magazine and the Washington Post, among others. As a novelist, Alexander Chee has been described as “masterful” by Roxane Gay, and “incendiary” by The New York Times.

Annamarie Jagose (Australian)

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Annamarie Jagose is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is internationally known as a scholar in feminist, lesbian/gay and queer studies. She is the author of four scholarly monographs, most recently Orgasmology, a critical consideration of orgasm across the long twentieth century. Annamarie is also an award-winning novelist. Her last novel, Slow Water, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and won the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.