Harman Writer-In-Residence, Fall 2007
Sigrid Nunez has published five novels: A Feather on the Breath of God, Naked Sleeper, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, For Rouenna, and The Last of Her Kind.
A Feather on the Breath of God was a finalist for both the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award. It was also voted best novel of the year by the Asian American Studies Association. Mitz won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Nunez has also been the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and of a residency fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.
Nunez was the 2000-01 Rome Prize Fellow in Literature at the American Academy in Rome. In 2003 she was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a 2005 Berlin Prize Fellow in Literature at the American Academy in Berlin and was awarded a Fiction Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2006.
She has been a contributor to numerous journals, including The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, McSweeney’s, and The Believer. She received her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Columbia University. She has taught at Amherst College, Smith College, Columbia University, The New School, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
Ms. Nunez will be teaching a Fiction Writing Workshop (English 3610/3610H) in the Fall 2007 semester.
“After I got released from segregation, my counselor told me we had to find a better way for me to deal with problems than trying to drown them in moonshine. Let me say, nothing is easier to come by behind bars than moonshine. Routine searches always turn up a couple of batches per unit. My friend Winkie brews hers out of Hawaiian punch and potatoes. She’s been caught a couple of times, but she always goes back to making more. She hawks her best stuff as Hawaiian Kayo. “Two cups and you out for the count, baby.” But I never could hold much liquor, and it didn’t take more than one cup to get me drunk. And from there it was just another sip to disorderly.”
— From The Last of Her Kind
Sigrid Nunez was a Visiting Professor for the 2008 Winter Quarter at the University of California, Irvine. She was a Visiting Writer at the Vermont Studio Center from in 2009. She will return to the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in August 2009. (June 2009)