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Courtney Zoffness: Spilt Milk w/ Tiphanie Yanique

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Join Books Are Magic for an evening with Courtney Zoffness and Tiphanie Yanique in celebration of Courtney's literary debut, Spilt Milk!

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What role does a mother play in raising thoughtful, generous children? In her literary debut, internationally award-winning writer Courtney Zoffness considers what we inherit from generations past—biologically, culturally, spiritually—and what we pass on to our children. Spilt Milk is an intimate, bracing, and beautiful exploration of vulnerability and culpability. Zoffness relives her childhood anxiety disorder as she witnesses it manifest in her firstborn; endures brazen sexual advances by a student in her class; grapples with the implications of her young son’s cop obsession; and challenges her Jewish faith. Where is the line between privacy and secrecy? How do the stories we tell inform who we become? These powerful, dynamic essays herald a vital new voice.

Courtney Zoffness won the 2018 Sunday Times Short Story Award, the most valuable international prize for short fiction, amid entries from 38 countries. She joins a winners list that includes Junot Díaz, Anthony Doerr, and Yiyun Li. (Read more about this here and here.) Other honors include an Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Center for Fiction, the Arts & Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize, a Bread Loaf Writers Conference scholarship, and two residency fellowships from MacDowell. Her writing has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including the Paris Review Daily, Longreads, The Southern Review, The Rumpus, and No Tokens, she had Notable essays in Best American Essays 2018 & 2019. Her literary debut, SPILT MILK: Memoirs, is forthcoming from McSweeney’s.

Courtney holds graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at nearly a dozen institutions, including Yale University and the University of Freiburg (Germany). Currently she directs the Creative Writing Program at Drew University and is a faculty member at Writing Workshops in Greece. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the novel Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, a 2015 Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award in Fiction, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Book of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

Yanique is also the author of a collection of stories, How to Escape from a Leper Colony, which won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5Under35. BookPage listed her as one of the 14 Women to watch out for in 2014. Her writing has won the 2011 Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places.

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