Announcing our Keynote Speaker: Novelist Angie Cruz
For our last event of the day titled “In Conversation with Angie Cruz,” we are honoured to be welcoming Angie Cruz, author of Soledad (2001), Let It Rain Coffee (2005), and Dominicana (2019) which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. In her work Cruz explores themes of community, home, working class life, gender, race, and displacement. Cruz’ work is not only emblematic of an effort to document voices that often go underdocumented (such as the fictionalised story of Cruz’ mother in Dominicana, a novel about an undocumented 15 year-old immigrant who was married to someone twice her age), but they are also about the fusion and interaction of different oppressive structures that intersect at race, class, and gender.
Natalia Fantetti, who will be chairing this event, remarked: “What I’m most looking forward to with our evening event is the opportunity to explore in a relaxed way how we might use literature as a means of probing the big questions around women’s issues. Angie Cruz’s work often focuses on female-centred stories, with an additional interest in bringing Latina voices to the fore (whilst acknowledging the complexity of individual experience), and so I think Cruz will bring a really interesting voice to the discussions of the day.”
Our event is free and open to all. Make sure to book your tickets here!
About Angie Cruz
Angie Cruz is a New York born Dominicana who traveled to and from NYC to D.R. for most of her formative years. Her first novel, Soledad (2001) and second novel, Let It Rain Coffee (2005) were both published by Simon & Schuster. Her novel, Dominicana, published Fall 2019 with Flatiron Books, was inspired by her mother’s arrival story. To research this novel Angie scoured many photo albums and this inspired the digital photo archive accessed through Instagram: @dominicanasnyc. Dominicana is the inaugural bookpick for GMA book club, and the Wordup Uptown Reads selection for 2019. It was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, The Aspen Words Literary Prize, a RUSA Notable book and the winner of the ALA/YALSA Alex Award in fiction. The New York Times Book Review called it “Lovely and Compelling” NBC NEWS said, “Dominicana is a triumphant return for Cruz…The journey of Ana Canción is one of the most evocative and empowering immigrant stories of our time.” The NewYorker called it, “Poignant…In nimble prose, Cruz animates the simultaneous reluctance and vivacity that define her main character as she attempts to balance filial duty with personal fulfillment.” It was named most anticipated/ best book in 2019 by Time, Newsweek, People, Bustle, Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Bookriot, The New York Times, Realsimple, Esquire, and Refinery59. Cruz is the author of two other novels, Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee.
Angie didn’t always think to become a writer. She attended La Guardia H.S. as a visual arts major. She then pursued, at night, a fashion design degree at F.I.T while working full-time during the day on Madison Ave. at a cashmere store. Later she pursued an English literature degree at SUNY Binghamton and then attended the MFA program at NYU.
For the past twenty years Angie has attended numerous writing residencies, including Yaddo, The Macdowell Colony, Siena Art Institute, Art Omi, La Napoule Foundation, The Camargo Foundation and Fundacion Valparaiso. Her works earned her many awards and honours including being Longlisted, 2020 Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize, The New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, the Pittsburgh Foundation Fellowship, the NALAC Fellowship and in 2007 she was long listed for the IMPAC Dublin Award for Let It Rain Coffee. Her short stories and essays have been featured in numerous journals and anthologies including Small Axe, Gulf Coast Literary Journal, Callaloo, VQR and the New York Times.
Angie is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. The co-founder and editor of the award winning literary journal, Aster(ix). She divides her time between Pittsburgh, New York and Turin.