No two debut novels in 2024 have generated as much unanimous praise and excitement as KAVEH AKBAR’s Martyr! and VINSON CUNNINGHAM’s Great Expectations. These ambitious, piercingly smart books are both intellectually and emotionally captivating. Martyr! tracks a newly sober son of Iranian immigrants as he embarks on a gritty, hilarious, poignant search for family, guided by the voices of artists, poets and kings. The New York Times Book Review says: “What Akbar pulls off in Martyr! is nothing short of miraculous.” In Great Expectations, Cunningham gives us another man on a search, a young, Black college dropout who goes to work on a historical presidential campaign (an unnamed Obama), an autobiographical novel The Washington Post calls “a coming-of-age story that captures the soul of America.” In conversation with ANNE TAYLOR FLEMING, Akbar and Cunningham will talk about their books, their writing lives—Akbar is a highly regarded poet and Cunningham is a staff writer and film critic at The New Yorker—and why they have turned to fiction.

July 21
10:30 am — 11:30 am


Anne Taylor Fleming, Kaveh Akbar, Vinson Cunningham

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2024 New Voices Fellows

In a literary conference filled with recognizable and established authors, the New Voices Fellowship aims to showcase…

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