What a thrill to be hosting two multiple-time Oregon Book Award winners, Lidia Yuknavitch and Omar El Akkad, in conversation about the new novel from Yuknavitch, Thrust, recently published by Riverhead Books/PRH.
Lidia Yuknavitch is the National Bestselling author of the novels The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award, the novel Dora: A Headcase, and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories Of Violence (Routledge). Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water, published by Hawthorne Books, was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice. The Misfit's Manifesto, a book based on her TED Talk, was published by TED Books, and her collection of fiction, Verge, was published in 2020 by Riverhead/PRH. She has also had writing appear in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyva, Another Chicago Magazine, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It, Wreckage of Reason, Forms at War, Feminaissance, and Representing Bisexualities, as well as online at The Rumpus. She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland Oregon, where she teaches both in person and online. She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. Yuknavitch lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.
Omar El Akkad is an author and journalist. He was born in Egypt, grew up in Qatar, moved to Canada as a teenager and now lives in Oregon. His newest novel, What Strange Paradise, won the 2021 Giller Prize, and both this novel and his debut novel, American War, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award and the Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. His fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Guernica, GQ and many other newspapers and magazines.