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Friday, May 5 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
2D: All-Conference Read in NonFiction: Cinderland by Amy Jo Burns
Limited Capacity seats available

New this year, we have designated the books by our Muse Fellows as all-conference reads. We encourage all conference participants to read Amy Jo Burns’s Cinderland (nonfiction) and Randa Jarrar’s Him Me Muhammad Ali (fiction), both of which are available in paperback. 

In this session, acclaimed author Richard Russo and Amy Jo Burns will discuss Cinderland,  as well as the craft of nonfiction in general, from the writer’s perspective -- structure, inspiration, process. 

Amy Jo Burns grew up in Mercury, Pennsylvania, an industrial town humbled by the steel collapse of the 1980s. Instead of the construction booms and twelve-hour shifts her parents generation had known, the Mercury Amy Jo knew was marred by empty houses, old strip mines, and vacant lots. It wasn t quite a ghost town only because many people had no choice but to stay. 

The year Burns turned ten, this sleepy town suddenly woke up. Howard Lotte, its beloved piano teacher, was accused of sexually assaulting his female students. Among the countless girls questioned, only seven came forward. For telling the truth, the town ostracized these girls and accused them of trying to smear a good man's reputation. As for the remaining girls well, they were smarter. They lied. Burns was one of them. 

But such a lie has its own consequences. Against a backdrop of fire and steel, shame and redemption, Burns tells of the boys she ran from and toward, the friends she abandoned, and the endless performances she gave to please a town that never trusted girls in the first place. 
This is the story of growing up in a town that both worshipped and sacrificed its youth a town that believed being a good girl meant being a quiet one and the long road Burns took toward forgiving her ten-year-old self. Cinderland is an elegy to that young girl's innocence, as well as a praise song to the curative powers of breaking a long silence.

While we strongly encourage reading Cinderland head of time, we are confident that the conversation will be illuminating and meaningful whether or not you've gotten to it yet. 

The first five attendees to sign up will receive complimentary copies of the book.   

avatar for Amy Jo Burns

Amy Jo Burns

Author, CINDERLAND, All-Conference Read in Nonfiction
Amy Jo Burns is the author of Cinderland, and her work has appeared in Salon, Good Housekeeping, Jezebel, The Rumpus, and Roxane Gay's forthcoming anthology, Not That Bad. A graduate of Cornell University and Hunter College's MFA program, Amy Jo currently writes for Ploughshares ... Read More →
avatar for Richard Russo

Richard Russo

Novelist and screenwriter Richard Russo is the author of eight novels, two short story collections, and the memoir Elsewhere.  Empire Falls won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002 and was made into an Emmy nominated HBO miniseries starring Ed Harris and Helen Hunt.  His most recent novel is... Read More →

Friday May 5, 2017 12:00pm - 1:00pm
White Hill Room