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CANCELED: A Conversation on Agency: Displacement and Power During Political Turmoil

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Registration is requested
Members Free and Non-members $15


A Conversation on Agency: Displacement and Power During Political Turmoil

with Marjan Kamali & Katrin Schumann

In their fiction, Marjan Kamali and Katrin Schumann, writers born outside the United States, grapple with what it means to really "belong" in a country or community. During times of political unrest, the stakes are even higher: how do we balance allegiances to old and new homelands? What are we willing to sacrifice for love, or for our country? In this conversation, Marjan and Katrin will discuss the origins of their stories of love, displacement, and healing. They will look especially closely at how women struggle to regain agency when world events, as well as the culture and political systems of their homelands, conspire to take away their power. 

Marjan Kamali, born in Turkey to Iranian parents, spent her childhood in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University. Her work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in two anthologies: Tremors and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been. The Stationery Shop was one of NPR’s Best Books of 2019, a Real Simple’s Top Editor Pick, and an excerpt was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel Together Tea was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Both her novels have been translated into several languages. Marjan lives with her husband and two children in the Boston area and teaches writing at GrubStreet.

Katrin Schumann is the author of the novel This Terrible Beauty – set in 1950s East Germany as the Cold War escalates – in which she explores the sacrifices we make in order to find love and build a just world. She is also the author of Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller The Forgotten Hours. Born in Germany, she lives in Boston and Key West. Katrin teaches writing at GrubStreet in Boston, was an instructor in PEN's Prison Writing program, and is now the program coordinator for the Key West Literary Seminar. She studied languages at Oxford and journalism at Stanford, and is also the author of several nonfiction books. She has been granted numerous fiction residencies, and her work has been featured on TODAY, Talk of the Nation, and in The London Times, among others. For more information go to

This event is part of “​Women, Agency, and the Meaning of Home," ​in honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day (March 8). Join us for our next two events that examine female agency and multicultural identities:

The Body Papers: A Memoir
​Book talk with author and scholar Grace Talusan in conversation with Elif Armbruster
12-1 pm ​on March 3, 2020

​What the Books Don't Tell You
​Lecture with former Boston Literary District W​riter-in-Residence​ ​Justine Chang
​12-1 pm on ​March 10, 2020

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The BA's virtual events are not routinely captioned. To request real-time captions for this event, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 no fewer than four business days prior to the event.