Wednesday 4 October, 2-5pm, Gannochy Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University Avenue, Glasgow University.
Join us for a fun, informal, relaxed afternoon devoted to one of America’s most successful writers. However much or little you know about Edith Wharton and her work, this event is for you! Everyone welcome. The afternoon will feature talks, presentations, a quiz, film excerpts, brief readings of writing by and inspired by Wharton, alongside the results of our writing competition. And if all that isn’t enough, free refreshments and snacks provided!
Discussions will cover Wharton’s work in context, Wharton and feminism, modernism, her contemporaries, race, taste and design. Did you know that the author of Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country and The Age of Innocence (for which Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction) was also a poet, a playwright, a renowned designer, an animal rights’ campaigner, and a woman honoured by the French government for her work in World War I? What about her attitudes to other writers, to women’s suffrage, to the homeland she left behind? Join us at the Wharton workshop to uncover and discuss more! The event programme can be found here: Wharton Workshop Programme.
Speakers include Katie Ahern (University College Cork), Ailsa Boyd, Anna Girling (University of Edinburgh) and Laura Rattray.
Enter the TLW Edith Wharton writing competition! Details available here.
This is a relaxed, informal event. You can join us for part of the workshop or for the whole afternoon. We’ll be posting a schedule a little nearer the event date, but in the meantime if you have any questions, send them our way. We look forward to seeing you there!
The launch night will be on Tuesday 19 September, from 5.15 – 7pm, at Rooms 202 and 203, 4 University Gardens.
As promised, we’re on our way back! We’ve been busy prepping events for the second season of the Transatlantic Literary Women series and very much hope you’ll join us.
In 2016/17 we held a total of eleven events, from bookclubs to talks, workshops, creative writing events and our summer symposium with speakers from both sides of the Atlantic. We teamed up with organisations across Glasgow, including the fabulous Scottish Writers’ Centre, Northlight Heritage and Glasgow Women’s Library. We even headed into the trenches for our Transatlantic Women and War Day at Pollok Park! Many thanks again to those who supported the first season. Details of our events are available on this website and via our Twitter account @atlantlitwomen, where you can also listen to podcasts of symposium talks, recorded by the brilliant Jamie Loggie and Mark Cunningham.
We’re all back (Laura, Marine, Louisa and Saskia), along with two new members of the team: Kari Sund and Sarah Thomson. Welcome! Read about Sarah and Kari here and here.
Here are the details for our first event:
TLW Season Two Launch and Talk. Tuesday 19 September 5-15-7. Rooms 202 and 203, 4 University Gardens.
Join us for this friendly, social event: our season two launch AND a great talk! Wine, soft drinks and snacks available, plus thirty free copies of our bookclub choice, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar to give away. And if this isn’t enough, we’re delighted to be welcoming Latinx expert Dr Eilidh Hall to give a talk ‘Spanglish as Resistance: Undoing Transatlantic Colonialism.’ We look forward to seeing you!
‘Spanglish as Resistance: Undoing Transatlantic Colonialism’ with Dr Eilidh A B Hall.
For many people in Latinx communities in the US, bi- or multilingualism is a part of everyday life. Simply put, Spanglish is a dynamic form of language made up of a conglomeration of Spanish and English dialects. And yet, to some, this is a threat to an ‘American’ culture that historically, and to this day, denies diversity and cultural complexity. This talk explores how, in an environment of intense hostility against people of Latinx heritage, Spanglish is used by activist women writers to resist the colonial erasure of their rich and diverse cultures.
Eilidh is a researcher interested in Latinx literatures and cultures. Her work focuses on Chicanx (Mexican American heritage) writings and the ways in which women negotiate their feminisms in patriarchal institutions. She is also co-jefa of The SALSA Collective, an online community for people interested in latinidades across the Americas.
For the diaries, our next two events are an Edith Wharton workshop on Wednesday 4 October 2-5pm, and our bookclub is on Tuesday 17 October at 5pm in the Gilchrist postgraduate club (entry open to all). Join us for an evening discussing Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
Today, we release this short video shot during our day in the trenches by Ned Suesat, the social media officer of the Digging In project. Thanks again to all our speakers and visitors for making this day great! There’ll be more material to come in the next few days, so keep an eye on our website for updates, and enjoy!
Today, we return to poetry with the first of three poems by Mairi Murphy, dealing with the tragic desertion of a village on the Achill Island during the Irish famine of 1845.
‘Famine Village, Achill Island’ by Mairi Murphy
Slievemore black, black against the sky
scattered on the mountainside my
children scramble goats among sheep
unmortared stones pile gable ends
cottaged along a mossy track
plainstone hearths and shelving empty
unwelcome at the door, this gorta mor
brings no birthing on the kitchen table,
sings no dancing on the hard earth floor
in Westernmost graveyard, Mulligans
cling to the hill: now I know
how deep a hungered migration
pierces the heart’s core
Mairi Murphy graduated last autumn from Glasgow University with a Masters in Creative Writing. Whilst there she was awarded the 2016 Alistair Buchan Prize for poetry for which two of her poems were also shortlisted. Recently her poems have been published in ‘Shetland Create’, ‘From Glasgow to Saturn’ and ‘Crooked Holster (an anthology of crime). She is the editor of ‘Glasgow Women Poets’ published by Four-em Press in 2016, of which she is the co-founder.
We look forward to seeing you on Monday for our book club, where we’ll be discussing Adichie’s 2013 novel Americanah. Whether you’re a veteran of our launch, book club, and modernisms workshop, or if February’s book club will be the first time you’ve come to one of the events in the Transatlantic Literary Women Series, you’re very welcome! Look forward to seeing you there.
We’ll be meeting at 5.15 on Monday in the same venue as January’s book club – in room 203, on the first floor of 4 University Gardens. I know some of you will be coming straight from work (me too, after seminars on Zelda Fitzgerald and Alice James – incidentally, two other unheralded transatlantic literary women!), so we’ll provide refreshments and rustle up a few snacks. As always, we want the tone to be relaxed, informal, friendly – and fun.
The janitors do their rounds and lock the outside doors shortly after 5.15, so if you’re a bit late, don’t worry: ring the bell and we’ll come and let you in. We’ll also come down to the front door regularly in the first half hour to make sure no-one’s been left stranded.
You may have seen that votes have been cast for our third book club meeting on Monday 20 March and that the winner was Nella Larsen’s novel Passing. We’ve ordered copies from the campus bookstore. If they arrive by Monday, we’ll bring them with us to the book club to circulate (and bonus: the edition has BOTH of Larsen’s fabulous Harlem Renaissance novels – Passing and Quicksand.) If not, we’ll let everyone know when and how they can collect the free copies from the book shop. Either way, we’ll leave a few copies with the book shop for anyone unable to attend Monday’s club.
If you are unable to join us, or would like to share your impressions on Americanah, feel free to do so on the page of the event, on Twitter, or just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Look forward to seeing you soon. Happy reading!
All best- Laura
Ps: Today is the last day to send your submissions for our transatlantic student writing showcase! Please send submissions of no more than 1,500 words of prose or 3 poems (maximum reading time 5-7 minutes) to: email@example.com, with Transatlantic Literary Women Series as the subject title. Please also include a brief bio.
We’re looking forward to seeing you for our first book club meeting on Monday 30 January at 5.15 in room 203, 4 University Gardens to discuss Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country (1913). Please come and share your thoughts in a friendly, sociable group—and share a glass of wine or soft drink and nibbles. As always, everyone is welcome!
With such large numbers at our launch, we have booked an extra room in 4 University Gardens, so that we can have two groups if necessary and we will of course all join together at the beginning and the end for chat and refreshments. We’re looking forward to seeing you!
The TLW team chose the first text to kick things off, but future selections are all yours! So, now we need YOU to tell us which book we will all be reading for our second book club meeting, scheduled for Monday 20 February. Make sure your voice is heard! Thank you for the great feedback on the launch and the terrific book club suggestions for future meetings. We have taken three suggestions from the feedback forms for the shortlist for the Feb. book club. We will carry all suggestions forward, so if yours isn’t on the shortlist this time, it may well be on subsequent lists – and do please keep your suggestions coming via Twitter, Facebook or email.
Below are some information on February’s shortlist. How will this work? Louisa will be setting up Twitter and Facebook polls. If you’re not on Twitter you can email us instead: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re on none of those, then I am deeply envious and please just let us know in person.
So that we can make arrangements and order free copies of the book selected, we need you to cast your vote by Friday 27 January. We look forward to reading and discussing the book with the most votes!
Choice One: Nella Larsen, Quicksand
A writer of the Harlem Renaissance, Nella Larsen published just two novels, and a handful of short stories. Quicksand, written in 1928, is her first novel, introducing us to Helga Crane, a mixed race woman caught between fulfilling her desires and gaining respectability. Critically acclaimed, Larsen’s work speaks powerfully of the contradictions and restrictions experienced by black women. She has been described as a trailblazer in writing about the conflicts of sexuality, race and the secret suffering of women in the early twentieth century. Alice Walker calls Larsen’s work “Absolutely absorbing, fascinating and indispensable”:
“Somewhere, within her, in a deep recess, crouched discontent. She began to lose confidence in the fullness of her life, the glow began to fade from her conception of it. As the days multiplied, her need of something, something vaguely familiar, but which she could not put a name to and hold for definite examination, became almost intolerable. She went through moments of overwhelming anguish. She felt shut in, trapped.” Quicksand
Choice Two: Zelda Fitzgerald, Save Me the Waltz
Zelda Fitzgerald? Just the mad wife of the famous author of The Great Gatsby right? Wrong. A writer and painter in her own right, Zelda Fitzgerald published a single novel, Save Me the Waltz. When Scott Fitzgerald read a draft, he was incandescent, accusing his wife of plagiarising material from the novel on which he was working, Tender is the Night. Save Me the Waltz was extensively rewritten and published in 1932 to lukewarm reviews. Subsequently described as “one of the great literary curios of the twentieth century” and almost always read biographically as a portrait of the Fitzgeralds’ marriage, Save Me the Waltz is set in the United States and Europe and tells the story of Southern girl Alabama Beggs, her marriage to painter David Knight and her struggle to achieve her own artistic success:
“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”
“But I warn you, I am only really myself when I’m somebody else whom I have endowed with these wonderful qualities from my imagination.”
Americanah (2013) is the award winning best seller by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who lived on both sides of the Atlantic: in Nigeria and the USA. The novel traces the story of Ifemelu, a young woman who moves from military occupied Lagos to the USA to study at University. The novel deals with contemporary politics, including 9/11, but it is also a ‘timeless’ (Wiki) love story. According to the Guardian, ‘Some novels tell a great story and others make you change the way you look at the world. Americanah does both.’
Here’s a quote from the book to give you a flavour of this particular offering: ‘her relationship with him was like being content in a house but always sitting by the window and looking out’. Americanah also offers a useful tip for reading groups!
‘If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.’
If you’ve already picked your favorite, you can cast your vote via Twitter, on our Facebook page, or just send us an email!