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Event date: 
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Avid Bookshop presents Jenn Shapland for her book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers. This event will take place on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, from 6:30-7:30 pm at our Five Points bookshop and is free and open to the public. We encourage you to purchase a copy of the book to get it signed by the author!

You can purchase this event book online from Avid Bookshop here


My Autobiography of Carson McCullers is an audacious new form of nonfiction that remakes the boundaries between criticism, biography, and autobiography in search of two identities.

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

And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of Carson's life: She wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at Carson’s childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives Carson’s days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and Carson, she see the way Carson’s story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results articulate something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers’s to create a vital new portrait of one of America’s most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.


Jenn Shapland is a writer living in New Mexico. Her nonfiction has been published in
Tin House, Outside, the Lifted Brow, Essay 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. Her first book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, will be available from Tin House Books in February 2020.

For accessibility requests, contact Please submit your request two weeks before the event.

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My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947793286
Availability: In our warehouse - should ship in 5-7 business days.
Published: Tin House Books - February 4th, 2020