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  • BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL, MEDIA ROOM 209 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, NY, 11201 United States (map)

Mona Eltahawy (The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls), Tamil writer Ambai (A Kitchen in the Corner of the House), and Téa Obreht (Inland) bring to life strong female voices of the past and present. From Eltahaway’s powerful #MeToo manifesto to Obreht’s reimagining the American West with a tale of an unflinching frontierswoman to Ambai’s courageous characters grappling with motherhood, self-assertion and sexuality—all three writers address issues of confinement and liberation in the face of larger cultural and historical forces. Moderated by Rivka Galchen.

A half-hour book signing will follow the event.

Rivka Galchen is an award winning fiction writer and journalist who loves noodles and numbers and modest-sized towns where her dad might have worked. Her work appears often in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The London Review of Books and The New York Times. She is the author of three books: Atmospheric Disturbances (Novel, FSG, 2008), American Innovations (Short Stories, FSG 2014) and Little Labors (Essays, New Directions, 2016). She has received numerous prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Fellowship, The Berlin Prize and The William J Saroyan International Prize in Fiction. In 2010, she was named to The New Yorker’s list of 20 Writers Under 40. Galchen also holds an MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Rat Rule 79 is her first book for young readers.

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is the author of "Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution," released April 2015, and is a contributor to the New York Times opinion pages. Her commentaries have appeared in several other publications and she is a regular guest analyst on various television and radio shows. She is based in Cairo and New York City.

Ambai is a feminist Tamil writer. She was born in 1944 in Tamil Nadu, and grew up in Bangalore and Mumbai. She received her PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her publications include In a Forest, A Deer, Fish in a Dwindling Lake, A Meeting on the Andheri Overbridge, The Purple Sea, and A Night with a Black Spider and articles in newspapers such as The Hindu, The Times of India, and Political Weekly. Her short stories portray the reality of the lives of women, communicating their silence through words. She has worked in research projects such as:The Face Behind the Mask: Women in Tamil Literature. In 1988, Lakshmi founded SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women) a non-governmental organization for documenting and archiving the work of female writers and artists. She is currently a member of the University of Michigan’s Global Feminisms Project.

Téa Obreht was born in Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia, and grew up in Cyprus and Egypt before eventually immigrating to the United States. Her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction, and was a 2011 National Book Award finalist and an international bestseller. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading, and has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, Vogue, Esquire and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many others. She was the recipient of the Rona Jaffe fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and was named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty. She lives in New York with her husband, and teaches at Hunter College.

The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors. One of America’s premier book festivals, this smart and diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages to enjoy the festival’s lively literary marketplace.


When: Saturday, September 22, 2019 at 4:00pm