Personal experience has always functioned as a source of inspiration for fiction writers. But it can be an obstacle when we remain too attached to factual veracity or if self-revelation is uncomfortable. How can we move beyond what we know in order to create fiction? How do we draw from raw experience characters, stories, and situations enabling resolutions that escape us in life? When fact resists being transformed into fiction, what methods can a writer use to overcome that resistance? Drawing on her work as a novelist and an Edith Wharton scholar, Jessica Levine will discuss the alchemy of turning autobiographical material into fiction.
Jessica Levine was born in New York City. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Her first novel, The Geometry of Love, was chosen as a Top 10 Women's Fiction Title for 2015 by the American Library Association's Booklist. Her literary history, Delicate Pursuit: Discretion in Henry James and Edith Wharton, was published in Routledge's Outstanding Dissertation Series (2002). Her essays, shorts stories, and poetry have appeared in many publications including The Southern Review and The Huffington Post. Jessica has been a recipient of a Mellon Fellowship and a University of California Chancellor's Humanities Fellowship.
Jessica has had a rich and varied experience as a teacher. Most recently, during a year in France, Jessica held workshops on writing the novel at the American Library in Paris. As a graduate student instructor, she taught writing composition and literature at the University of Toronto, New York University, and the University of California at Berkeley. During youthful peregrinations in Europe she taught English as a Second Language in Paris and Rome.
She has also worked as a translator from French and Italian into English.