2022 Festival
October 17–23

41: Writing History

41: Writing History

Two of the biggest names in literary historical fiction discuss race, humanity, and writing sweeping stories based on true events. Nadifa Mohamed was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize for The Fortune Men’s depiction of a young Somali sailor wrongfully accused of a crime—and working to fight against systemic racism and a broken legal system. Nathan Harris’s The Sweetness of Water is “equal parts beauty and terror,” sharing the bond between two freedmen navigating the Deep South during the waning days of the Civil War. It’s an Oprah Pick, a New York Times bestseller, and a Booker Prize nominee. Both books are epic in scope and power, speaking to historic injustices and the prevailing human spirit in spite of them. Moderated by John Freeman.

Event Participants:

John Freeman

JOHN FREEMAN is the founder of the literary annual Freeman’s, and an executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf. His books include How To Read a Novelist, Dictionary of the Undoing, and the poetry collections Wind, Trees (2022); Maps; and The Park. He is a Writer in Residence at New York University.

Nathan Harris

NATHAN HARRIS was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree in 2021. The Sweetness of Water, a novel and selection for Oprah’s Book Club, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. (UNITED STATES)

Nadifa Mohamed

NADIFA MOHAMED  was born in Somaliland, and moved with her family to London at the age of four. She has received The Betty Trask Award and the Somerset Maugham Award, and in 2013, she was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. The Fortune Men was a finalist for the Booker Prize. (UNITED KINGDOM)