NEW YORK, N.Y. — Girls Write Now (GWN), New York’s premier creative writing and mentoring organization for high school girls, today announced its annual commemoration of “Girls Write Now Day,” a local celebration of International Women’s Day. On Sunday, March 8, join participants in the program for an afternoon with young women writers and the writers who inspire them — featuring Annette Gordon-Reed, 2008 National Book Award Winner for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” and Marlon James, critically acclaimed author of “The Book of Night Women” — at the New School University’s Theresa Lang Community & Student Center (Arnhold Hall, Second Floor), located at 55 West 13th Street (between Fifth & Sixth Avenues).
The event will take place from 4-6 p.m., and a $10-20 donation to Girls Write Now for admission is suggested (although no one will be turned away at the door for lack of funds). This program is sponsored by the New School Diversity Committee and the Bachelor’s Program of the New School for General Studies.
Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor of law at New York Law School and a professor of history at Rutgers University. In awarding her the 2008 National Book Award for Nonfiction for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton & Company), the judges noted, “In the mesmerizing narrative of Annette Gordon-Reed’s American family saga, one feels the steady accretion of convincing argument: Her book is at once a painstaking history of slavery, an unflinching gaze at the ways it has defined us, and a humane exploration of lives-grand and humble-that ‘our peculiar institution’ conjoined. This is more than the story of Thomas Jefferson and his house slave Sally Hemings; it is a deeply moral and keenly intelligent probe of the harsh yet all-too-human world they inhabited and the bloodline they share.” She is also the author of “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” editor of “Race On Trial: Law and Justice in American History,” and coauthor with Vernon Jordan of “Vernon Can Read: A Memoir.” Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. She lives with her family in New York City.
Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in literature. His first novel, “John Crow’s Devil,” was short listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. “The Book of Night Women” (Riverhead, February 19), is a sweeping, startling novel, a tour de force of both voice and storytelling that centers on Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. Her story overflows with high drama and heartbreak, and life on the plantation is rife with dangerous secrets, unspoken jealousies, inhuman violence, and very human emotion-between slave and master, between slave and overseer, and among the slaves themselves. Lilith finds herself at the heart of it all. And all is told in one of the boldest literary voices to grace the page recently-and the secret of that voice is one of The Book of Night Women’s most intriguing mysteries. James lives in Kingston.
Girls Write Now Inc. (GWN) is New York’s premier creative writing and mentoring non-profit organization, matching bright, creative teenage girls from the city’s public high schools with professional women writers in the community since 1998. Through weekly one-to-one mentoring, monthly group genre-based workshops, and quarterly public readings, their mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment where low-income, at-risk girls can expand their natural writing talents, develop independent voices, and build confidence in making healthy choices in school, career and life. 100-percent of all seniors completing the program go on to college and, in 2008, GWN girls won 13 Scholastic Gold and Silver Writing Awards. The organization was recently featured in The New York Times; supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; and honored by The Union Square Awards for creating educational opportunities, building community, and promoting progressive social change.
More information: http://www.girlswritenow.org .