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Emotional Teakettles: Sentimental Objects in Fiction

w/Cleo Qian

Jul 29, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM  (EDT)

Our daily lives are populated with objects: the plates we eat from, the shoes we slip on and off, the pens we hold, the seats we occupy. But we often think of our objects merely in terms of their utility, even though our choice of which objects we use and how we use them says so much about who we are. In this class, we will read excerpts from fiction that use objects to imbue mood, build emotion, add tenderness, and develop characters’ emotional interiority. We will then use generative writing prompts to begin adding the emotional lives of our own objects to our fiction.

Sample authors may include Banana Yoshimoto, Yoko Ogawa, Hiromi Kawakami, or Margarita Liberaki.

Melisa Tien Cleo Qian (she/her) is a fiction writer and poet from California. She received her MFA from NYU. Her work has appeared in over 20 outlets; was a winner of the Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Competition; has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, twice longlisted for the DISQUIET Prize, and supported by Sundress Academy for the Arts. By day, she works at a nonprofit and reads self-help articles on how to be happy.

Her debut short story collection, LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GO, is forthcoming from Tin House in 2023.

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