Memoir and Creative Non Fiction

Memoir and Creative Non Fiction

For the Love of Basketball

Thursday, October 10th, 10:30am-11:45am and 1:30pm-2:45pm @ Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room A


In The Bounce and the Echo, Coach Ian Johnson, a former college basketball player at Davidson College and former professional player in Europe, delves into his sport and rekindles his love for it. In this debut memoir, Johnson, now a coach in Pittsburgh, weaves together his personal journey and the history of the sport as he reflects on his identity as a former professional athlete and on his experiences after stepping out of the spotlight.

A Journey Toward Love and Self-Acceptance

Thursday, October 10th, 3:00pm-4:15pm @ Research Hall, Room 163

Samantha Mann‘s Putting Out is her honest portrayal, both humorous and heartbreaking, of her life from thoughtful teenager to expressive, creative adult. These essays recognize one’s trauma and being cognizant and grateful for the person one becomes. An important conversation on the power of female sexuality and the power in owning one’s true identity, Mann also invites a conversation on the stigma surrounding mental health.  Sponsored by Women and Gender Studies.

Life in Observation

Thursday, October 10th, 3:00pm-4:15pm @ Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room E

In Jennifer Militello’s Knock Wood: A Memoir in Essays, a knock on wood sparks a retrospective account of three elements of her life, revolving around family damage and the precariousness of love. Purpura’s All the Fierce Tethers alternates between themes of low and high, whether in life or in the world around her, all while tackling the realities of her own racially divided Baltimore.

Between Convention and Freedom

Thursday October 10th, 6:00pm-7:15pm @ Fenwick Library Reading, Room, 2nd Floor Room 2001

Bella Pollen’s memoir, Meet Me in the In-Between, chronicles a journey through her upbringing in both Upper Manhattan and London, her early marriage to the son of a mafia member, and a friendship with a band of smugglers in Mexico. Described as “frequently disturbing, often very funny” by The Daily Telegraph, Pollen’s memoir is a captivating mix of both humor and pain as it reimagines what life is like when torn between convention and freedom. Sponsored by the Creative Writing program.

Memoirs of the #MeToo Era

Thursday, October 10th, 3:00pm-4:15pm @ Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room G

Two authors share their experiences with sexual assault and the trauma that comes after. In Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl, Jeannie Vanasco interviews her abuser, a high school friend, and dismantles our ideas about victimhood. Karen Stefano’s What a Body Remembers charts her journey of confronting her anxiety and PTSD thirty years after her assault and her attempt to find the man who attacked her.

Between Convention and Freedom

Thursday October 10th, 6:00pm-7:15pm @ Fenwick Library Reading Room, 2nd Floor Room 2001

Bella Pollen’s memoir, Meet Me in the In-Between, chronicles a journey through her upbringing in both Upper Manhattan and London, her early marriage to the son of a mafia member, and a friendship with a band of smugglers in Mexico. Described as “frequently disturbing, often very funny” by The Daily Telegraph, Pollen’s memoir is a captivating mix of both humor and pain as it reimagines what life is like when torn between convention and freedom. Sponsored by the Creative Writing program.

Unearthed Roots: One Woman’s Journey to Find Family

Thursday, October 10th, 7:00pm-8:15pm @ City of Fairfax Regional Library

Margaret McMullan’s Where the Angels Lived, begins as the discovery of a long-lost relative while visiting Israel’s Holocaust Museum and transforms into a journey to Hungary in search of answers regarding her mother’s Jewish heritage. McMullan straddles the line between memoir and reportage that Joyce Carol Oates calls “vividly realized, emotionally engaging prose…” Sponsored by Fairfax Library Friends and the Friends of the Oakton Library.

The Birth of a Journalist

Friday, October 11th, 1:30pm-2:45pm @ Enterprise Hall, Room 80

Finding the News: Adventures of a Young Reporter, tells Peter Copeland’s story of becoming a distinguished journalist. Starting in Chicago at the City News Bureau, Copeland worked as a war correspondent in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa before covering national politics in Washington, D.C. Full of behind-the-scenes stories about learning the trade, Copeland’s inspiring account builds into a heartfelt defense of journalism “done the right way” and serves as a call to action for today’s reporters.

Mason’s Creative Nonfiction Alumni Reading

Saturday, October 12th, 3:30pm-4:45pm @ Merten Hall, Room 1202

Join George Mason University’s MFA Creative Nonfiction alumni Emily Heiden, Rajpreet Heir, Kerry Folan, and Jessie Szalay as they read from their latest works and discuss life after the MFA. All alumni have been published in The Washington Post, in addition to The Atlantic, Literary Hub, and the National Geographic Traveler.