Warren Wilson College series celebrates women authors

ROYAL WELCOME: Natalie Baszile, a 2007 graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, penned the novel ‘Queen Sugar.’ “As an African-American author, [race is] central to the work,” she says. “I think I am positioned to be able to talk about these issues in a way that celebrates black life but that can also be welcoming to all people.” Photo by Bennington

Author Natalie Baszile will return to her alma mater Tuesday, Sept. 12, as the first of three women authors to be featured in Warren Wilson College’s Harwood-Cole Memorial Lecture Series. Baszile earned her MFA from the school in 2007. Her first novel, Queen Sugar, was published by Penguin in 2014 and has since been adapted as a television show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The reading series will take place in both the fall and spring semesters, as a lead-up to Lynn Morton’s inauguration in mid-April. Morton, the college’s first female president, views the program as an opportunity to emphasize and celebrate women writers. It is also an opportunity to showcase Warren Wilson’s cultural profile. “We’re hoping the community will come out and be part of the events,” Morton says. “And, as president, I want to connect very intentionally with the Asheville and Black Mountain communities, and Swannanoa Valley.”

Confirmed readings include:

• Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. — Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar,

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 3 p.m. — Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian and The Shadow Land

The third and final writer was unconfirmed at press time. Readings will be held at 701 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, and are free. More information at warren-wilson.edu

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist.

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