I Know A Place: The Importance of Setting in Driving the Narrative

Sat, May 18, 2024
Hyers Theatre
Greensboro Cultural Center

An aquarium in Miami, a Georgia island near an unexploded atomic bomb, and an abandoned field in the rural South. No, this is not the beginning of a joke but some of the places integral to the novels of JENNINE CAPÓ CRUCET (Say Hello to My Little Friend), MARJORIE HUDSON (Indigo Field), and STEPHEN HUNDLEY (Bomb Island), The places we write about can influence characters–or even become their own characters. Moreover, what happens against the backdrop of a place can be both historically and culturally important. Join these three authors as they discuss their unique places and how they figure into the larger narratives at play.


JENNINE CAPÓ CRUCET is the author of four books, including the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers, which won the International Latino Book Award and was cited as a best book of the year by NBC Latino, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, and others; and the story collection How to Leave Hialeah winner of both the Iowa Short Fiction Prize and the John Gardner Book Award. She's the recipient of the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. A former contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, her writing has won a PEN/O. Henry Prize and has appeared on PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio, and in publications such as The Atlantic, Condé Nast Traveler, and others. She’s worked as a professor of ethnic studies and of creative writing, as a college access counselor for the One Voice Scholars Program, and as a sketch comedienne (though not all at the same time). Born and raised in Miami to Cuban parents, she lives in North Carolina with her family. LEARN MORE

MARJORIE HUDSON was born in the Midwest, raised in Washington, DC, and now makes her home in rural North Carolina. Her new novel, Indigo Field, called “mesmerizing” and “redemptive” by Sue Monk Kidd, is winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Read, and a Crooks Corner Prize finalist. Hudson’s work reflects her fascination with Southern places, history, and people. She lives on a family farm with her husband Sam and dog DJ, where she mentors writers and reads poetry to trees. LEARN MORE

STEPHEN HUNDLEY is the author of The Aliens Will Come to Georgia First and Bomb Island. His stories and poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Cream City Review, Carve, The Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. Stephen serves as a fiction editor for Driftwood Press and book reviews editor for The Southeast Review. He holds an MA from Clemson, an MFA from the University of Mississippi, and is currently completing a PhD in English at Florida State University, where he is writing a book about the feral horses of Cumberland Island.


DEREK PALACIO is the author of the novella How to Shake the Other Man and the novel The Mortifications. He teaches in the Creative Writing MFA Program at UNCG.