The ravaging consequences of traumatic events on identities, relationships, and communities is the backdrop of these three stories. In Dariel Suarez’s The Playwright’s House, two brothers are shaken to the core when their father is arrested at the height of communist Cuba, unraveling everything they believed of their family and an extremist government regime. Andrea Yaryura Clark’s On a Night of a Thousand Stars reveals Argentina’s “Dirty War” when citizens were forcibly taken by the state on unspecified charges, and a woman whose assurance of her place in her family and society is disrupted. In Ousmane K. Power-Greene’s The Confessions of Matthew Strong, a Black female professor of philosophy is drawn into investigating the disappearances of numerous Black women, but soon finds herself at risk, too. This conversation will be moderated by Jane De León Griffin, founding director of Inspired Masses and Associate Professor of Modern Languages at Bentley University.
Fiction: The Past as Prologue
Andrea Yaryura Clark grew up in Argentina amid the political turmoil of the 1970s until her family relocated to North America. After graduating from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service — including a year of study at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires —and completing her MBA at York University (Toronto, Canada), she returned to Buenos Aires to reconnect with her roots. By the mid-1990s, many sons and daughters of the "Disappeared"—the youngest victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s —were coming of age and grappling with the fates of their families. She interviewed several of these children, and their experiences, not widely known outside Argentina, inspired her debut novel, ON A NIGHT OF A THOUSAND STARS. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two sons, and a spirited terrier.
Ousmane K. Power-Greene is the Program Director of Africana Studies and an Associate Professor of History at Clark University. Power-Greene is the author of Against Wind and Tide: The African American Struggle Against the Colonization Movement, and his writing appears in The Harlem Renaissance Revisited: Politics, Arts, and Letters. He’s been featured on All Things Considered, C-SPAN Book TV, and NPR’s history podcast Throughline.
Dariel Suarez was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1997. His debut story collection, A Kind of Solitude, received the 2017 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and the 2019 International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories. Dariel is an inaugural City of Boston Artist Fellow and Education Director at GrubStreet. His prose has appeared in numerous publications, including the Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, the Kenyon Review, and the Caribbean Writer, where he was awarded the First Lady Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize. Dariel earned his MFA in Fiction at Boston University and currently resides in the Boston area with his wife and daughter.
Jane is founding director of Inspired Masses, a cultural non-profit based out of Waltham, MA. Through Inspired Masses, Jane has partnered with the Chilean non-profit Plagio Fundación to launch "Boston in 100 Words," an annual community-based writing contest that celebrates 100-word stories written by Bostonians about everyday life in their communities. In addition to her work at Inspired Masses, Jane is also associate provost for student success and associate professor of modern languages at Bentley University.