Still Queer: Jenn Shapland in Conversation with Alexander Chee & Dustin Schell

Please note: This event has been moved to June 25.


The Still Queer reading series welcomes Jenn Shapland, author of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (Tin House, 2020). A genre-defying debut memoir, told in vignettes that interweave the author's own story with McCullers', My Autobiography of Carson McCullers is a "hard-won inquiry into how we seek out the truth of ourselves and others" (New York Times Book Review). Jenn will be joined in conversation by Still Queer co-curators Alexander Chee and Dustin Schell.

Buy a copy of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers through Still North Books & Bar to receive a limited edition signed book plate. Tickets available free of charge; donations up to $10 will be accepted. Proceeds will be split between covering event costs and the New Mexico Community Foundation Native American Relief Fund.

ASL live interpretation provided.

Register for the CrowdCast Virtual Event Here

About the Book

While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie—letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters’ language—but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her.

And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers’s life: she wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at McCullers’s childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives McCullers’s days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees how McCullers’s story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.

About the Author

Jenn Shapland is a writer living in New Mexico. Her nonfiction has been published in Tin HouseOutside, the Lifted BrowEssay Daily, and elsewhere. She won the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism, and her essay “Finders, Keepers” won a 2017 Pushcart Prize. She teaches as an adjunct in the Creative Writing department at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. My Autobiography of Carson McCullers is her first book.

About the Series

Still Queer is a reading series held (virtually, for now) at Still North Books & Bar in Hanover, NH, which highlights the unique voices of contemporary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Two-Spirit writers. Still Queer serves the Upper Valley community by providing a diverse and multifaceted program of queer poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in a welcoming space.


Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel. He is a contributing editor at The New Republicand an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, T Magazine, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, and Outamong othersHe is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Dustin Schell is a newcomer to the Upper Valley and an avid reader and supporter of queer literature. He studied Theater at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Circle in the Square Theater School In New York City. His varied career includes work as an actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, and most recently, a ski instructor at the Dartmouth Skiway.


Event date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Virtual Event