Xhenet Aliu is a native of Waterbury, CT, a city that once hosted a strong brass manufacturing industry.
This hour, Aliu joins us in studio to talk about her debut novel, Brass, which is set in her hometown. The book tells the parallel stories of a mother and her daughter and their attempts to escape the blue-collar life they seem destined to follow.
We talk to Aliu about her journey as a writer and how her upbringing in a working class community in Connecticut shaped her writing.
Aliu’s college mentor from her days at Southern CT State University joins us as well. He talks about how Southern’s MFA program guides its students to write professionally and discusses the challenges of navigating the publishing industry.
Are you an aspiring novelist? Join the conversation.
Read an excerpt from Brass here:
Excerpted from BRASS by Xhenet Aliu. Copyright © 2018 by Xhenet Aliu. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Listeners can attend a book talk and signing with Xhenet Aliu at Barnes & Noble in Waterbury on Sunday, January 28 2018 at 1:00 pm. Learn more here.
- Xhenet Aliu - Author of the novel Brass, which was released on January 23. It's been featured on Oprah.com's Best New Books. Aliu is also the author of a short story collection Domesticated Wild Things, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction in 2012. She is a native of Waterbury, CT, the city where most of her fiction is set.
- Tim Parrish - Professor of Creative Writing at Southern Connecticut State University, founder of SCSU's Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing residence program. Parrish is author of three books--Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, a Memoir; The Jumper, a novel; and Red Stick Men, a short-story collection set in his hometown of Baton Rouge.
Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on January 26, 2018.