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Writers Speak | Sheila Heti in conversation with Beth Blum

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Thursday, November 30, 2023 6pm to 7:30am

Sheila Heti, wearing a black shirt, posed with both of her hands next to her face

Event Dates

Thursday, November 30, 2023 6pm to 7:30am

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About the Speakers

Sheila Heti is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent novel is Pure Colour (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022)which The Atlantic called “unabashedly metaphysical.” Her other books include Motherhood (Henry Holt & Co., 2018), named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, Vulture (#1 of 2018), NPR, Chicago Tribune, and others. Dwight Garner writing in The New York Times called it, “earthy and philosophical and essential.” Her novel, How Should a Person Be? (House of Anansi Press, 2010)  was named one of the twelve “New Classics of the 21st century” by Vulture. It was a New York Times Notable Book, a best book of the year in The New Yorker, and was cited by Time as "one of the most talked-about books of the year.” Other books include the novel Ticknor (House of Anansi, 2005) described by Publisher’s Weekly as “deliciously intimate and clue-riddled as a Poe story;” and the short story collection, The Middle Stories (House of Anansi, 2004). Heti was named one of "The New Vanguard" by The New York Times book criticsa list of fifteen women writers from around the world who are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.


Her nonfiction includes New York Times bestseller, Women in Clothes (Riverhead, 2014), edited with Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits, which features the voices of 639 women from around the world, speaking about the wide range of motives that inform how they present themselves through clothes; and The Chairs are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City (FSG, 2011), with Misha Glouberman, a “triumph...of “conversational philosophy,” according to The New Yorker. Her play, All Our Happy Days are Stupidhad sold-out runs at The Kitchen in New York and Videofag in Toronto. Her children’s book, We Need a Horse (McSweeney’s, 2011), was called a “subtle existential meditation” in Publisher’s Weekly. Her books have been translated into 21 languages. Heti is currently developing a new play called The Dug Out.


Beth Blum teaches modern and contemporary literature at Harvard University, where she is the Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English. Her book, The Self-Help Compulsion: Searching for Advice in Modern Literature was published in 2020 with Columbia University Press.


About the Series

Writers Speak, a series of literary conversations at the Mahindra Humanities Center, is convened by Duncan White, Associate Director in the Program in General Education and Lecturer in History & Literature at Harvard University.

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