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The Writing Life

Panel: New Novelists: Debut Authors Break Through - Fully Registered

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 6:30 PM
| Open to the Public | Members' Room | Free of charge; advance registration required

with Julia Claiborne Johnson, Imbolo Mbue, and Jonathan Putnam; moderated by Lauren Belfer

Three debut authors share their thoughts and experiences about the process of writing—and selling, publishing, and promoting—their first book.

Julia Claiborne Johnson (top) (Be Frank with Me, William Morrow, February 2016) grew up on a farm in Tennessee, so she knows exactly what a peacock in a barnyard full of chickens looks like. After college, she moved to New York City, where she worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying her comedy-writer husband and moving to Los Angeles. They have two children.

Imbolo Mbue (second from top) (Behold the Dreamers, Random House, August 2016) is a native of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for over a decade, she lives in New York City.

Jonathan F. Putnam (third from top) (These Honored Dead, Crooked Lane Books, August 2016) is a writer and attorney. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he is a nationally renowned trial lawyer and avid amateur Lincoln scholar. He currently lives with his family in London, England. He is working on the sequel to These Honored Dead, to be published in 2017.

Lauren Belfer’s debut novel, City of Light, was a New York Times bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book and a Library Journal Best Book. Her second novel, A Fierce Radiance, was an NPR Best Mystery, a Washington Post Best Novel, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. NPR said her most recent novel, And After the Fire, “dazzle[s] while delving into dark places.” She lives in New York City.

The Writing Life events in 2016 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.


Advance registration is required. Click here for registration instructions.