Literati is thrilled to welcome author Meghan O’Gieblyn who will sharing her new essay collection Interior States. She will joined for a discussion about her work by writer and Literati bookseller Young Eun Yook.
About Interior States:
A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity: faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere.
What does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts? The critic and essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her “existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still,” and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture (“Hell”), a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design (“Species of Origin”), the paradoxes of Christian Rock (“Sniffing Glue”), Henry Ford’s reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages (“Midwest World”), and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity (“Ghosts in the Cloud”). Meghan O’Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California – which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time.
MEGHAN O’GIEBLYN is a writer who was raised and still lives in the Midwest. Her essays have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, n+1, The Point, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Best American Essays 2017, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola University, Chicago and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband.
Young Eun Yook is a singer/writer born in Korea and New Jersey. She is a recipient of the Lucille Clifton memorial scholarship from Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and The Paul Mariani Fellowship at The Glen Workshop. You can find her work in the anthology, Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance and elsewhere. Young Eun received her MFA from the University of Michigan where she won The Meader Family Award and the Se-AH Haiam Scholarship. She is a Kundiman fellow.