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Behind the Book - Will Boast, Katia D. Ulysse, & Krystal A. Sital

Will Boast was born in England and grew up in Ireland and Wisconsin.  He is the author of a story collection, Power Ballad, which won the 2011 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and a best-selling memoir, Epilogue.  His highly anticipated debut novel, Daphne, re-imagines a classic myth as a richly meditative and quietly suspenseful modern fable that explores both self-determination and the perpetual fight between love and safety.  His fiction, essays, and reporting have appeared online and in print in The New Republic, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, The American Scholar, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications.  He’s been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, a Charles Pick Fellow at the University of East Anglia, and a Literature Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.  He teaches at the University of Chicago and the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center in Rome.

“In his stunning first novel, Boast turns the myth of Daphne and Apollo into a modern love story about social anxiety and physical debilitation…Sharply observant, both of the limits of human longing and of the fear of feeling trapped inside one’s body, Boast’s understated tale is at once tragic and enchanting.”
– Booklist, Starred Review

Katia D. Ulysse is a fiction writer who was born in Haiti.  Named to multiple lists as of the most-anticipated books for 2019, Mouths Don’t Speak powerfully dives into the aftermath of national and personal tragedies in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, filtered through diasporic life.  She is also the author of the critically acclaimed a collection of short stories, Drifting.  Her short stories, essays, and Pushcart Prize–nominated poetry appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and Haiti Noir, both edited by Edwidge Danticat; The Caribbean Writer, SmartishPace, Phoebe, and Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism. She has taught in Baltimore public schools for thirteen years, and served as Goucher College’s Spring 2017 Kratz Writer in Residence. 

“In Drifting, Ulysse’s 2014 story collection, Haitian immigrants struggle through New York City after the 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of their county.  In her debut novel, Ulysse revisits that disaster . . . Jacqueline Florestant is mourning her parents, presumed dead after the earthquake, while her ex-Marine husband cares for their young daughter.  But the expected losses aren’t the most serious, and a trip to freshly-wounded Haiti exposes the way tragedy follows class lines as well as family ones.” 
– The Millions, Included in the Millions’ Most Anticipated Great First-Half 2018 Book Preview

Krystal A. Sital was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and moved to the United States in 1999.  Her debut book, the memoir Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad, traces the hidden trauma and fierce resilience of one Trinidadian family in a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past.  A PEN Award finalist and Hertog fellow, she holds an MFA from Hunter College. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Salon, Today’s Parent, the Margins, the Caribbean Writer, Brain Child, and elsewhere.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.

“In this stunning, unforgettable memoir, Krystal Sital writes with unflinching honesty, exploring with great depth and complexity her grandmother’s liberation after her grandfather’s death and the complications that arise from this fiery matriarch’s quest to selfhood after years of abuse and servitude.  A brilliant account of gender inequality and the burdens we bear as women in the Caribbean.” 
– Nicole Dennis-Benn, Here Comes the Sun, New York Times Best Book of 2016

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