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  • Leslie Jill Patterson

fiction reading by lindsey drager!


On Thursday, April 27, in Lecture Hall 001 of the English & Philosophy Building, Lindsey Drager will be giving a fiction reading as the last event in the TTU Creative Writing Program Reading Series. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. Autographs and book sale will follow the reading.


Though we would prefer a warm in-person reception for Lindsey, you may join us on Zoom if you need to attend virtually. Please email us at ihlr.mail@gmail.com for the Zoom link.


Lindsey is the author of The Sorrow Proper (Dzanc, 2015), recipient of the 2016 Binghamton University/John Gardner Fiction Award; The Lost Daughter Collective (Dzanc, 2017), winner of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award for novella and finalist for a 2018 Lambda Literary Award; and The Archive of Alternate Endings (Dzanc, 2019), a queer retelling of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, also a finalist for a Lamda Literary Award. Her prose can be found recently in Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly, Passages North, Copper Nickel, Huffington Post, and Iron Horse Literary Review. Her other awards include a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the 2022 Bard Fiction Prize. She is an assistant professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Utah and the associate fiction editor of West Branch.

Lindsey’s most recent book is The Archive of Alternate Endings, which considers how stories are disseminated, edited, and censored. It begins in 1835, when Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm learn that they have been incorrectly recounting the Hansel and Gretel story for years. When they’re told that the original variant depicts the siblings’ parents casting them into the woods because Hansel “loves boys,” the Grimm brothers both secretly recognize Jacob and must decide if it is their duty to share the story correctly or bury it to save him. While the Grimm story progresses, other stories are told, too, covering a millennium, from 1378 to the year 2365. In 1910, for example, the woman who drew the illustrations for the Grimm collection is committed to an Asylum for Women for loving women. In 1946, Johannes Gutenberg’s sister uses the original variant to share the family secret only her brother knows. In 1986, the great-nephew of Wilhelm Grimm is dying of AIDS under the care of Ruth Coker Burks and recalls having stolen the Grimm Collection from his former lover. The Archive of Alternate Endings is a speculative novel told in stories that tackles queer studies, eco-fiction, psychological horror, and book history. As a reviewer for NPR says, if any description of these stories and the link that connects them “seems tenuous, that’s only because listing them doesn’t do justice to the magical way Drager weaves together their themes.”


The New York Journal of Books calls The Archive of Alternate Endings intoxicating. Publisher’s Weekly describes it as captivating, ambitious, beguiling, and emotionally resonant. NPR says it is both nihilistic and deeply hopeful. It was the best book I read in 2020, so stunning I knew I’d never read anything like it, and I have wanted to bring Drager to campus ever since.


To read a sample story from the collection, visit Michigan Quarterly Review.


To read interviews with Lindsey, visit Black Warrior Review, Lighthouse Writers, and Copper Nickel!

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