The Pushcart Prize-winning author of House of Sand and Fog joins author and essayist Nahid Rachlan as guest faculty during the creative writing program’s summer residency.
We are often approached by writers who want to... engage with our students, which says a great deal about our reputation and appeal as a literary community.
— Sonya Huber, MFA in creative writing program director
Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing program is excited to welcome New York Times best-selling author Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days) and critically-acclaimed Iranian author Nahid Rachlan (Persian Girls: A Memoir) as guest faculty members during its annual summer residency and writer’s conference, July 20-28, 2018, at Ender’s Island in Mystic, Conn.
The popular 10-day residency serves to enrich MFA students’ creative writing skills through collaboration with published faculty, professional editors, literary agents, and prominent guest authors. In addition to participating in a variety of writing workshops, seminars, and author readings, students are also given the opportunity to interact, collaborate, and dine with prominent writers while learning about their processes and craft.
“We are often approached by writers who want to come and engage with our students, which says a great deal about our reputation and appeal as a literary community,” said MFA Program Director Sonya Huber. “Both Dubus and Rachlan are great additions to our summer residency as they have experience publishing work in multiple genres and have successfully created work that is best-selling and of high literary quality."
As guest faculty, both Dubus and Rachlan will conduct afternoon seminars; present readings from their works Dirty Love, a collection of novellas by Dubus, and Persian Girls: A Memoir by Rachlan; and participate in a Q&A with students.
“In terms of professional guidance, both Andre and Nahid are experienced writers with many books to their credit, so they’ll be more than capable of inspiring our students and sparking their imaginations,” said fellow author and MFA Assistant Program Director William B. Patrick.
A two time Pushcart Prize-winning author, Andre Dubes III has published a variety of critically-acclaimed works including the New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award and later adapted as an Academy-Award nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His writing has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.
Nahid Rachlin is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels Jumping Over Fire, Foreigner, Married to a Stranger, and The Heart’s Desire, as well as a collection of short stories, Veils. A graduate of Columbia University and Stanford University, she taught at Yale, Barnard College, and the New School for more than ten years. Her short stories have appeared in more than 50 newspapers and magazines. Her work has been translated into several languages, and it has won many honors, including the Grace Paley Prize, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize, and the Teichmann Fiction Prize.
Throughout its ten-year run, Fairfield’s low-residency MFA program in creative writing has been responsible for bringing a roster of high profile speakers and authors to its residencies, as well as to the University’s campus. Recent guest speakers include writer Sophfronia Scott, who wrote the novel Unforgettable Love and the newly released essay collection Love’s Long Line; and National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas, who presented an inspirational and informative lecture on "The Need for Literature in Politically Challenging Times."
“I’m thrilled that we haven been able to offer our students the opportunity to learn from both high-profile writers and important emerging voices, since the beginning of the MFA program ten years ago,” Huber said. “I believe our society as a whole needs these voices more than ever.”