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The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

Guest Blog: The Unfolding of Silence Into Words

In Conversation: Ruth Oseki and Carol DeSantiby Deborah Batterman

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If the WNBA-NYC networking event on September 11th was a reminder that writers thrive in community, the second event of the season resonated with the wisdom that we need quiet and possibly isolation to do our work. In a cozy room at Reflections, a Midtown yoga studio, attendees got to listen to Ruth Ozeki in conversation with Carol DeSanti.

Chapter President Jane Denning got the evening started with a very gracious introduction to “two remarkable women.” As Vice President, Editor-at-Large, at Viking Penguin, Carol DeSanti has gained a reputation for championing women’s voices in fiction; her novel, The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R, speaks to her own voice in the world of letters. As a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest, Ruth Ozeki brings a multi-dimensional view to her work. In a Bookseller interview, she had this to say about a sense of displacement running through her three critically acclaimed novels: “I’ve always felt neither here nor there. Maybe for a writer that’s the best place to be. You’re never in the middle of the stream; you’re always on the edge looking in.” Her latest novel, A Tale for the Time Being, was recently named a Man Booker Prize shortlist selection.

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Member Monday: Meet Maddy Lederman

maddyledermanphotoEdna In The Desert is Maddy Lederman’s first novel, released by Electio Publishing. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The LA Times and The Sun Runner, a magazine about California deserts. She has an MFA in Theater from Brooklyn College, lives in Brooklyn, NY and works in the art department for films and TV shows, recently on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and The Amazing Spiderman 2.

How long have you been a member of the WNBA-NYC? How did you get involved with the organization?
About a year. When my first novel, Edna In The Desert, was almost finished, I was looking for ways to learn about publishing.

Where did the idea for Edna come from and when can readers expect to purchase it?
It’s available now at electiopublishing.com and practically everywhere online as an e-book or paperback. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Mojave Desert and the idea for Edna In The Desert started out as a short film. I kept seeing this family in a car on a desert highway. Cars can be pressure cookers for intense situations (I’m working on a collection of micro-stories that take place in cars). In this story, a bratty, Los Angeles thirteen year-old finds out she’s going to be left with her grandparents for the summer. Her grandparents are like people I had interviewed for a local magazine. They had no cell phone service or internet and lived in the middle of nowhere. It was so remote, I wondered how a modern, city kid could stand it. Eventually Edna In The Desert became a short story (now chapter one of the book). I read it at Desert Stories, a spoken word event in Joshua Tree, CA, and then it was published in The Sun Runner, a magazine about California deserts. So many people wanted to know what was going to happen to Edna, it inspired me to write the book!

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Member Monday: Headlines

Happy Monday, WNBA-ers! Today, we’re sending out congratulations to member Ruth Ozeki. Her novel, A Tale for the Time Being, has made the short list for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious literary award in Britain. Ruth is one of six finalists up for the award which…

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