Live on Zoom! Nadia Owusu, in conversation with Chaya Bhuvaneswar - Aftershocks

This is a virtual event, taking place via Zoom Webinar! Register for this livestream event here!

 

A Most-Anticipated Selection by * The New York Times * Entertainment Weekly * O, The Oprah Magazine * New York magazine * Vogue * Time * Elle * Minneapolis Star Tribune * Electric Literature * Goodreads * The Millions *Refinery29 * HelloGiggles *

 

In the tradition of The Glass Castle, a deeply felt memoir from Whiting Award-winner Nadia Owusu about the push and pull of belonging, the seismic emotional toll of family secrets, and the heart it takes to pull through.

 

"Nadia Owusu has lived multiple lives and each has demanded much of her. She has met and surpassed those demands with her memoir, Aftershocks. Owusu is half-Armenian, half-Ghanaian; socially privileged and psychologically wounded. She spends her life moving between Europe, Africa and New York, reeling from her mother's desertion and her father's death. Her task and burden are threefold: to chronicle the historical wounds and legacies of each country; to chart her own descent into grief, mania and madness; to begin the work of emotional reconstruction. She does so with unerring honesty and in prose that is both rigorous and luminous."-- MARGO JEFFERSON, author of Negroland: A Memoir, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

 

Young Nadia Owusu followed her father, a United Nations official, from Europe to Africa and back again. Just as she and her family settled into a new home, her father would tell them it was time to say their goodbyes. The instability wrought by Nadia's nomadic childhood was deepened by family secrets and fractures, both lived and inherited. Her Armenian American mother, who abandoned Nadia when she was two, would periodically reappear, only to vanish again. Her father, a Ghanaian, the great hero of her life, died when she was thirteen. After his passing, Nadia's stepmother weighed her down with a revelation that was either a bombshell secret or a lie, rife with shaming innuendo.

 

With these and other ruptures, Nadia arrived in New York as a young woman feeling stateless, motherless, and uncertain about her future, yet eager to find her own identity. What followed, however, were periods of depression in which she struggled to hold herself and her siblings together.

 

Aftershocks is the way she hauled herself from the wreckage of her life's perpetual quaking, the means by which she has finally come to understand that the only ground firm enough to count on is the one written into existence by her own hand.

 

Heralding a dazzling new writer, Aftershocks joins the likes of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and William Styron's Darkness Visible, and does for race identity what Maggie Nelson does for gender identity in The Argonauts.

 

Nadia Owusu is a Brooklyn-based writer and urbanist. She was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and raised in Italy, Ethiopia, England, Ghana, and Uganda. Her first book, Aftershocks, A Memoir, topped many most-anticipated lists, including The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, and TIME. Nadia is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award. Her lyric essay chapbook, So Devilish a Fire won the Atlas Review chapbook contest. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Times, the Washington Post’s the Lily, Orion, Granta, the Literary Review, The Paris Review Daily, Electric Literature, CatapultBon Appétit, Epiphany and others. By day, Nadia is the Director of Storytelling at Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned consulting firm that helps social-change organizations to define goals, execute plans, and evaluate impact. She is a graduate of Pace University (BA, Political Science) and Hunter College (MS, Urban Policy). She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction at the Mountainview low-residency program where she now teaches. 

 

Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a physician and writer with work in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Electric Lit, The Millions, Joyland, Michigan Quarterly Review and elsewhere. Her poetry and prose juxtapose Hindu epics, other myths and histories, and the survival of sexual harassment and racialized sexual violence by diverse women of color. She has received a MacDowell Colony fellowship, Sewanee Writers Conference scholarship and Henfield award for her writing. Follow her on Twitter at @chayab77 including for upcoming readings and events.

 

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from this event.