Writer-in-Residence is a National Book Award Finalist

Since January, Carmen Maria Machado has been a writer-in-residence at Penn. Her first book, “Her Body and Other Parties,” is a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction. The short story collection is a literary sensation and winner of a lengthening list of prizes. The book is appearing on various “Best of 2017” lists, including just-announced Publisher’s Weekly.

“I’m super surprised at the attention it is getting,” she says, noting that her debut, a fantasy story collection published by an independent press, is not usually a recipe for star status. “It’s weird how much attention it’s getting.”
It was 2015 when Penn professors Julia Bloch, director of the Creative Writing Program, and Al Filreis, faculty director of Kelly Writers House, called and asked Machado if she would come in for a chat about a writer-in-residence position. Filreis says she became their choice once they read her book of short stories in manuscript.

“We were thrilled to be able to hire an emerging writer whose work spans fiction, speculative genres, and thinking about identity,” Bloch says.

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