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More Info: Sandra Allen
Join author Sandra Allen as she reads from her debut work of literary nonfiction A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise (forthcoming from Scribner). Several years ago, Allen received something in the mail from her uncle Bob, a self-described “hermit” who lived in the desert. It was the “true story” of his life, a very misspelled 60-page loose leaf document that had been typed in all capital letters on a typewriter. By his description, Bob had been a normal teenager coming of age in Berkeley in the early 1970s. One day, he was dropped off at a mental hospital and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, events which forever altered the course of his life.
A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise is a unique work of nonfiction. In part, it is a literary translation of Bob’s life story, one written faithfully to his own account. The book also examines the contexts that surrounded Bob’s life — including the category of schizophrenia itself, historically and today. Ultimately, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise is a work that radically challenges the preconceived notions many have about severe mental illnesses and the people who are diagnosed with them.
Sandra Allen (NWP MFA ‘12) is the former Deputy Features Editor of BuzzFeed News. Her essays and features have been published on BuzzFeed, the Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere, and named Notable Selections by Best American Essays and Best American Science and Nature Writing. She was also a founding editor of the online-only literary quarterly Wag’s Revue.
A Q&A will follow the reading, led by Nicolás Medina Mora, NWP MFA ‘19.
Presented in conjunction with the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.