Image description: a flyer for an event. On the left, text reading “Saint Martin’s University Les Bailey Writers Series, Nicola Griffith, Making and Remaking the World, Wednesday October 13, 7:00pm, Worthington Center St Martin’s University,” followed by logos for St Martin’s University and Barnes and Noble. On the right, a black and white photograph of a smiling short-haired white woman at a microphone.
On Wednesday evening I’ll be in Lacey, WA at the Worthington Center, Saint Martin’s University, to give a public talk, Making and Remaking the World. Actually, it’ll be more of a guided conversation: Kelley will be asking me questions and we’ll talk for about an hour, then I’ll answer audience questions—often my favourite part of events like this—and then I’ll sign books. The university bookstore will be selling copies of Hild and So Lucky, but if you bring personal copies of any of my other works I’ll be happy to sign them.
So what does “Making and Remaking the World” mean? The long answer is basically my PhD thesis, plus every essay I’ve ever written about my work. The shortest answer is all about how and why I write—and who I write for. I write to some degree for myself—I write to find out—but I also write to change the world, one reader at a time. I write to see myself, and others like me, like you, in pasts, presents, and futures we’ve been told don’t belong to us. I build fictional worlds where we can all not only survive but thrive. And by building fictional worlds, and putting traditionally underrepresented people in them, I help recast attitudes we hold towards the world we live in today. And changing attitudes changes culture.
Some of the conversation will be about how I do that, and some about why I do that. I may or may not include a couple of very short (2 mins or so) readings—I haven’t decided yet.
Perhaps that sounds weighty and serious—and to an extent it is—but as one of the truest reasons I write is for pleasure, I’m hoping the conversation is pleasurable, too. When I write—and speak—I don’t just want to change the real world, I want the fictional world the reader lives in to delight them, thrill them, fill them with joy. Because in my experience joy is contagious: if my work fills you with joy, you may then go out into the world and fill others with joy. And that, too, will change the world.
Making and remaking worlds—this one or any other—does not have to be onerous. So come and join me and Kelley for a lovely evening of conversation and exploration.