Inspired Writers Series Hosted by MFA Program's Phil Klay: "Broken and Invaluable Institutions" - Thursday, May 6 at 7:30 PM

Date: 05-06-2021

Time: 07:30 PM


Free virtual event; Tune in by visiting

As a series of political, economic, and natural crises have exposed the weaknesses of American institutions, a number of writers have explored the complex ways those institutions shape our lives, for good and ill. Few do so in a more viscerally powerfully way than the writers Kirstin Valdez Quade and Ryan Leigh Dostie.

The Five Wounds, Quade’s highly anticipated debut novel, delicately explores the way a local religious association and a nonprofit program for teen mothers influence the lives of one family in New Mexico, exposing them to opportunity, pain, abuse of power, and fellowship.

Formation, Ryan Leigh Dostie’s memoir of her time in the military, charts her deployment, her growth as a soldier and a person, as well as the military’s horrific mishandling of her rape at the hands of a fellow servicemember. 

Phil Klay is a full-time creative writing mentor and Fairfield University MFA faculty member. A Dartmouth College graduate, Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province as a public affairs officer before receiving his MFA from Hunter College of The City University of New York. His New York Times-bestselling short story collection, Redeployment, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014, and his debut novel, Missionaries was chosen by former President Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2020, and was also named one of “The 10 Best Books of 2020” by The Wall Street Journal. Klay’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of the novel The Five Wounds (Norton, April 2021), a most anticipated book of 2021 by O, the Oprah MagazineThe Week, Electric Lit, and The Millions. Her story collection, Night at the Fiestas, won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Kirstin was awarded a Rome Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and a Stegner Fellowship. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor at Princeton.   

Ryan Leigh Dostie is a novelist-turned-soldier-turned-novelist. As an Army Persian-Farsi/Dari linguist in Military Intelligence, she was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II (2003-2004), where she translated very little, because they mostly speak Arabic in Iraq. After being wowed by the brilliant efficiency of the Army, Ryan left the military world for academic pursuits. She holds an MFA in fiction writing and a bachelor’s degree in history from Southern Connecticut State University. Ryan lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and their wondrously wild daughter. She now writes full-time. Ryan is published in The New York Times and the New York Daily NewsFormation is her first book.                

Related Web Site :

For more information, contact Quick Center Box Office / 203-254-4010 /