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Like Me/Unlike Me: Re-imagining Women in Fiction 

When: Wed., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Price: free
“For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that?,” was acclaimed novelist Claire Messud’s now-famous retort when she was asked in April by Publisher’s Weekly about whether she would want to be friends with the icy main character of her new book, The Woman Upstairs. It was an uncommonly candid answer for the notoriously softball-question-oriented ecosystem that is the pre-publication press interview, and out of Messud’s palpable exasperation erupted a new debate about literature, women, and whether female characters are held to an unfair double standard when it comes to likeability. To that end, join a panel of five female novelists — Thaisa Frank, Nina Schuyler, Elizabeth Rosner, Joyce Thompson, and Elizabeth Stark — at Pegasus Books (2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) as they discuss whether contemporary literary fiction harbors a “bias against nuanced, fully-realized female characters,” and the extent to which “female protagonists conform to deep-seated archetypes.”
— Ellen Cushing

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