The Creative Writing Program at ASU presents author Jess Row in a reading from his work, White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Free of charge and open to the public, the event will take place September 17, 2019 at 7pm in Ross-Blakley Hall 117 on ASU’s Tempe Campus (1102 S McAllister Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281).
The featured work White Flights is a meditation on whiteness in American fiction and culture from the end of the civil rights movement to the present. Jess Row ties “white flight”—the movement of white Americans into segregated communities, whether in suburbs or newly gentrified downtowns—to white writers setting their stories in isolated or emotionally insulated landscapes. In doing so, Row asserts, those white writers (including Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Richard Ford, and David Foster Wallace) have constructed a creative space for themselves at the expense of engaging with race. Not all hope is lost, however–Row explores what it would mean should writers “approach each other again”, and analyzes previous portrayals of interracial relationships with the aim of further inclusion in fiction.
In addition to White Flights, Row has also written the novels Your Face in Mine and the story collections The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost. White Flights is his first book of nonfiction, while his fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Tin House, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Granta, n+1, and elsewhere, has been anthologized three times in The Best American Short Stories, and has won two Pushcart Prizes and a PEN/O. Henry Award. One of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists of 2007, he lives in New York and teaches at the College of New Jersey.