The C.K. Williams Reading Series at Labyrinth Bookstore showcases senior thesis students of the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing with established writers as special guests. This month, celebrated novelist Chinelo Okparanta will be reading with Princeton seniors Harrison Blackman, Samantha Cody, Diana Liao, Robin Speiss, and Anna Windemuth.
Chinelo Okparanta is currently Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing (Fiction) at Bucknell University, where she is also C. Graydon and Mary E. Rogers Faculty Research Fellow.
She is a winner of a 2014 Lambda Literary Award, a 2016 Lambda Literary Award, the 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, and of a 2014 O. Henry Prize. Other honors include a nomination for the 2016 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award and the 2016 NAACP Image Award in Fiction. Her debut short story collection, Happiness, Like Water, was cited as an editors’ choice in the New York Times Book Review and was named on the list of The Guardian’s Best African Fiction of 2013. The book was nominated for the Nigerian Writers Award. She was also a finalist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, the 2013 Society of Midland Authors Award, and the 2014 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in Literature.
Okparanta has published work in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, the Kenyon Review, AGNI, and other venues, and was named one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012. Under the Udala Trees is her first novel.