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Ru Freeman
Ru Freeman's creative and political writing has appeared internationally. She is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf, 2013), a New York Times Editor's Choice Book. Both novels have been translated into several languages including Italian, French, Hebrew, and Chinese. She is the editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine (2015). She blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics, is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review, and has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, The Corporation of Yaddo, Hedgebrook, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Lannan Foundation. ​She is the 2014 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Award for Fiction, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman. ​

Entries by Ru Freeman

Sunil Yapa's Debut: A Fist To the Heart

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 3:20 PM

In Colum McCann's latest book, Thirteen Ways of Looking (Random House, 2015), a young soldier looks out over the Kerengal valley in Afghanistan, minding an outpost as the New Year dawns. The story carries echoes of Italo Calvino's masterpiece, If On A Winter's Night a Traveler...

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We're Talking Jaipur: Friendliest Literary Festival in the World

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 5:15 PM

A few days ago, William Dalrymple, famed architect of the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival which opened today, posted the following status update with a few significant details:

"Over the next six days we will be deploying at Jaipur:
  • 240 speakers
  • Over 2,000 workers to ready the venue
  • ...
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Rita Zoey Chin: Running Toward the Storm

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 7:17 PM

Very early in her memoir, Let the Tornado Come, (Simon & Schuster, 2014), Rita Zoey Chin finds herself at an exclusive dinner held by her husband's colleagues from the Boston Medical Center where he is the chair of neurosurgery, during the course of which she reveals that she is working...

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Happy Graduation! Ten Books That Could Change Your Graduating Senior (and Their World)

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 11:59 AM

'Tis the season for long black robes and tassels on caps flying into the air, for extended families to drive cross-country to attend ceremonies, and large, ballooned and beribboned back-yard celebrations to honor those who have survived their four years of high-school or college. 'Tis also the season for the...

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Courting Demons: Jen Percy's Quest to Understand War and Exorcism

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 4:15 PM

On March 19, 2003, at exactly 9.34 EST (5.34 a.m. on March 20th, in Baghdad time), George W. Bush launched his invasion of Iraq without a declaration of war. The war came to be known by many names, "Operation Iraqi Liberation," "Operation Iraqi Freedom," "Operation Telic" (UK), and "Operation Falconer"...

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Talking With Roger Reeves: A Pawn, a Poet, a King

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 3:22 PM

When the behemoth of all writers conferences, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), begins this week, Roger Reeves will be everywhere, discussing hip-hop poetry on Friday and debut-collections on Saturday. He will also be at a multitude of off-site events including the Bat City Review's

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PEN International: Mobilizing Writers to Defend Free Speech

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 8:08 PM

Writers are people armed with words, and PEN is an organization, with centers around the world, which boasts of a 91 year history of using those words to give a voice to writers whose lives have been threatened or lost because of what they wanted to say or...

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13 Bests of AWP 2013

(9) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 6:34 PM

The behemoth has gone home, dragging its entrails - disguised as a purple velvet coat - behind it. Boston has waved goodbye to the AWP conference best described by Steve Almond, in his piece for The New Republic, as "the vast roving capital of American literary...

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Dear Natalie Gyte: I Hope You Dance

(1) Comments | Posted February 17, 2013 | 7:00 PM

I began to write this as a comment to a post by a dear friend and activist on Facebook, but decided to use this space instead. The link was to an article on Huffington Post, "Why I Won't Support One Billion Rising," by Natalie Gyte from the Women's...

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The Time Is Now: State by State Referendum on Gun Control

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Donna Denner, an elementary school art teacher from Danbury, whose classroom was locked down after the shooting, is quoted as having asked if the rest of us in the country was responding as she was: "Are they going about their regular activities? Is it just another news story...

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Reginald Dwayne Betts: Reflections From a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 1:36 PM

Upon announcing the 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships, Poetry editor Christian Wiman said, "The history of Poetry is filled with some of the best-known names in American poetry; my guess is that these young poets will be among those we'll be talking about in the years to come."...

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Cheryl Strayed: 'Wild' and Beautiful

(3) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 7:46 PM

Cheryl Strayed did not set out to discover herself with a $200,000 book advance and an inner compass set to taste, meditate and indulge. She turned her back on a world of experiences that had left her bereft and began to walk, in solitude, to learn how to survive alone....

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On Forgiveness: Natalie Serber's 'Shout Her Lovely Name'

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 4:12 PM

The narrator in the final story in Natalie Serber's collection, Shout Her Lovely Name (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June, 2012) describes her contrary opinion regarding a book (set in Afghanistan, hint hint), selected by her suburban book club. She says she found "the novel's perfectly balanced shape...

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Ted Conover: On Traveling and Being Free Behind Bars

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 2:53 PM

Eight years after Ted Conover's book, Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing (Random House, 2000), came out, a Pew report found that 1 in 100 Americans were behind bars. Although the overall prison population has declined in each of the last three years under...

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Poetry for the 99 Percent

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 6:53 PM

Temperatures warmed and the Occupiers went back to the streets in April, which also happened to be National Poetry Month. The month usually dawns with the usual list of celebrations by the usual list of suspects: events scheduled by the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American...

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Tayari Jones Knows Why She Sings

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 4:37 PM

May 8th was a big day for Tayari Jones. That is when her third novel, Silver Sparrow (Algonquin, 2011), which deals with the two families created by a single man, came out in paperback. To kick-off the whirlwind of reading and speaking engagements, her publisher has...

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Chang-rae Lee on War, Alienation, and the Power of Reading

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 2:36 PM

We won't know the winner of this year's Man Asian Literary Prize, until Thursday evening, March 15th, when the name will be announced at a ceremony in Hong Kong, so here's the next best thing: an interview with one of the judges, Pulitzer Prize-nominated fiction writer,

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Notes From AWP 2012

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 1:12 PM

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference in any year is an unwieldy, slippery beast that grows tentacles and Gorgon heads before ones eyes. You arrive intending to do X, Y and Z and you end up discovering an alphabet in Chinese characters. You dress...

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Eugene Cross: Stories for Our Time

(0) Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 2:10 PM

The standard MO for new writers is to generate a collection of short stories before walking off into the sunset to produce the follow-up novel. The shelf-life of these "career-starter" works is usually brief; the short-fiction, unless resuscitated by other writers in workshops, dies its natural death only to be...

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Tomás Q. Morín: On Finding His Voice and Winning the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize

(2) Comments | Posted January 11, 2012 | 12:00 PM

As a rule, poets have neither agents nor big contracts. Their art is seldom put to the test that most writers of fiction endure: will it sell? Untethered by such considerations, it seems, they are free to be true to their particular aesthetic, focussing on writing good poetry rather than...

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