Indiana Humanities is bringing New York Times bestselling-author and National Book Award-finalist Jean Thompson to Hoosier audiences for a free online INconversation discussion on Nov. 10.
Thompson will discuss her National Book Award finalist novel The Year We Left Home (chosen by Indiana Humanities for the 2020 One State / One Story selection), her career as a writer, and the stories we tell about the Midwest. Barb Shoup, founding director of the Indiana Writers Center, will moderate the conversation.
A signature program of Indiana Humanities, INconversation pairs some of the nation’s most intriguing thought-leaders with a moderator to discuss a topic and then take questions from the audience. This special INconversation caps off a year of statewide One State / One Story programming and brings to a close the second year of Indiana Humanities’ INseparable initiative.
The Year We Left Home offers a sweeping, multi-generational look at living in the Midwest during the final decades of the 20th century. Beginning in Iowa in 1973, the novel follows the Erickson family through the many changes affecting American life.
“We chose the book as our One State / One Story statewide read selection because of its complex views about urban, rural and suburban lives, and about questions it raises about the power of place, what makes a home, how we confront change and more,” said Megan Telligman, senior program manager with Indiana Humanities.
Thompson is a novelist and short-story writer whose works also include the novels A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, She Poured Out Her Heart, The Humanity Project, City Boy and Wide Blue Yonder, as well as the short-story collections The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told, Do Not Deny Me, Throw Like a Girl, Who Do You Love (a National Book Award finalist) and Little Face and Other Stories.
Thompson’s short fiction has been published in magazines and journals including the New Yorker, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. The recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, Thompson has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Reed College, Northwestern University and other colleges and universities. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.