This event will be broadcast live on Zoom. Registration and an email address are required to receive the link to participate.
Order your copies of the authors' books from Mac’s Backs – Books on Coventry:
Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah
White Magic by Elissa Washuta
The Kissing Bug by Daisy Hernandez
About the authors:
Eman Quotah grew up in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, and Cleveland, Ohio. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Toast, The Establishment, Book Riot, and other publications. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.
Eman Quotah’s Bride of the Sea is a spellbinding debut of colliding cultures, immigration, religion, and family; an intimate portrait of loss and healing; and, ultimately, a testament to the ways we find ourselves inside love, distance, and heartbreak. During a snowy Cleveland February, newlywed university students Muneer and Saeedah are expecting their first child, and he is harboring a secret: the word divorce is whispering in his ear. Soon, their marriage will end, and Muneer will return to Saudi Arabia, while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi. Consumed by a growing fear of losing her daughter, Saeedah disappears with the little girl, leaving Muneer to desperately search for his daughter for years. The repercussions of the abduction ripple outward, not only changing the lives of Hanadi and her parents, but also their interwoven family and friends—those who must choose sides and hide their own deeply guarded secrets.
Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. She is the author of My Body Is a Book of Rules and Starvation Mode. With Theresa Warburton, she is co-editor of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, Artist Trust, 4Culture, and Potlatch Fund. Washuta is an assistant professor of creative writing at The Ohio State University.
Bracingly honest and powerfully affecting, White Magic establishes Elissa Washuta as one of our best living essayists. Throughout her life, Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, “starter witch kits” of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning. In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch.
Daisy Hernández is a former reporter for The New York Times and has been writing about the intersections of race, immigration, class, and sexuality for almost two decades. She edited Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and Colorlines, a newsmagazine on race and politics, and she has written for National Geographic, NPR’s All Things Considered, Code Switch, The Atlantic, Slate, and Guernica. She is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed, and is a professor at Miami University in Ohio.
The Kissing Bug tells the story of how poverty, racism, and public policies have conspired to keep the disease Chagas hidden—and how the disease intersects with Hernández’s own identity as a niece, sister, and daughter; a queer woman; a writer and researcher; and a citizen of a country that is only beginning to address the harms caused by Chagas, and the dangers it poses. Growing up in a New Jersey factory town in the 1980s, Daisy Hernández believed that her aunt had become deathly ill from eating an apple. No one in her family, in either the United States or Colombia, spoke of infectious diseases, and even into her thirties, she only knew that her aunt had died of a rare illness called Chagas. But as Hernández dug deeper, she discovered that Chagas—or the kissing bug disease—is more prevalent in the United States than the Zika virus. Today, more than three hundred thousand Americans have Chagas. Why do some infectious diseases make headlines and others fall by the wayside? After her aunt’s death, Hernández begins searching for answers about who our nation chooses to take care of and who we ignore.