Gaithersburg Book Festival (2018) -- Adrienne Benson, Aminatta Forna (w/Susi Wyss):
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- Description of Pictures: Adrienne Benson, Aminatta Forna
NEA Big Read: Immigrant Stories
Two novels ask us to consider recognizing connections in a place that's not our own. Set in London's West African Ghanaian immigrant community, and in a East-African Kenyan Maasai village, explore unforeseen ways to find home and happiness.
Moderated by Susi Wyss.
Adrienne Benson was raised in Africa, and has called Kenya, Liberia, Zambia and the Ivory Coast home. She’s been a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, lived in Ukraine and Albania, slept in more airports than she can count and is now happily ensconced in Washington, D.C., with her three kids. Her writing has appeared in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Brain, Child, the Foreign Service Journal, ADDitude magazine and several anthologies. “The Brightest Sun” is her first novel, and she is currently at work on her second.
Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain. She is the award-winning author of the novels “The Hired Man,” “The Memory of Love” and “Ancestor Stones,” as well as a memoir, “The Devil that Danced on the Water.” Her latest novel is “Happiness.” Her essays have appeared in Freeman’s, Granta, The Guardian, LitHub, The Nation and The New York Review of Books. Aminatta is the recipient of a Windham Campbell Award from Yale University and the Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Prize. She was made OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2017. She is currently Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University.
Susi Wyss is the author of “The Civilized World,” a novel set across Africa that was named a “Book to Pick Up Now” by O, the Oprah Magazine. Her writing, which has twice been recognized by the Maryland State Arts Council, is largely inspired by her 20-year career managing women’s health programs in Africa. A resident of Silver Spring, Md., Susi balances her creative writing with her work at Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international health organization.
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- BIG_180519_01.JPG: (left to right) Aminatta Forna, Susi Wyss, Adrienne Benson
- BIG_180519_11.JPG: Susi Wyss
- BIG_180519_14.JPG: Aminatta Forna
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