Memoir Monday Online: Khakpour, Long, Shah, Volz


Memoir Monday is a collaboration between The Rumpus, Narratively, Catapult, Granta, Guernica, and Longreads to bring the very best first-person writing together in a weekly newsletter and a quarterly reading series.

The reading series usually takes place at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, but we’re observing social distancing rules by holding it on Zoom instead! May’s event took place on Monday, 5/18 and featured readings from Porochista Khakpour, Amy Long, Sejal Shah, and Alia Volz. If you missed the live event, you can watch the video below—and then sign up for the Memoir Monday newsletter so you can be sure to catch the next one in real time!

(Please also consider supporting these wonderful writers and The Rumpus by visiting our Bookshop storefront and purchasing their books today!)

You can browse the Memoir Monday book list that Lilly mentioned in the video here!

About the readers:

Porochista Khakpour’s debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, one of the Chicago Tribune’s Fall’s Best, and the 2007 California Book Award winner in the “First Fiction” category. Her second novel The Last Illusion was a 2014 “Best Book of the Year” according to NPR, Kirkus, Buzzfeed, Popmatters, Electric Literature, and many more. Her third book Sick: A Memoir was a Best Book of 2018 according to TIME Magazine, Real Simple, Entropy, Mental Floss, Bitch Media, Autostraddle, The Paris Review, Lit Hub, and more. Among her many fellowships is a National Endowment for the Arts award. Her nonfiction has appeared in many sections of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Elle, Slate, Salon, and Bookforum, among many others. Her next book will be a collection of those essays, Brown Album (Vintage, May 2020). She has taught creative writing and literature at Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Columbia, Bucknell, Bard, Sarah Lawrence College, and many other universities around the country. She lives in New York City.

Amy Long is the author of Codependence, selected by Brian Blanchfield as the winner of Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2018 Essay Collection Competition. She holds an MFA from Virginia Tech, an MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Florida, and is a contributing editor to the drug history blog Points. Her work has appeared in Diagram, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere, including as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2018.

Sejal Shah’s debut essay collection, This Is One Way to Dance, (University of Georgia Press, June 2020) explores movement, language, family, and place. Her stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review Online, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. The recipient of a 2018 NYFA fellowship in fiction, she recently completed a story collection and is at work on a memoir about mental health and academia. Sejal is on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program and lives in Rochester, New York.

Alia Volz is the author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020). Her work has appeared in Best American Essays 2017, the New York Times, Bon Appétit, and many other publications. Her unusual family story has been featured on Snap Judgment, Criminal, and NPR’s Fresh Air.

About the host:

Lilly Dancyger is a contributing editor at Catapult and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She’s the editor of Burn It Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women’s anger, named one of the “most recommended books of the season” by Literary Hub; and the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, forthcoming in 2021. Lilly is the founder and host of Memoir Monday, and her writing has been published by Longreads, The Rumpus, the Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more.