Writers at Work

Cris Mazza stopped by North Carolina A&T today, a guest of the Creative Writing undergraduate program, to read from her latest novel, Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls. She's an intense woman with short-cropped hair who reads with a controlled passion - just right for the subject matter, young women exploited by men, sometimes because they lack power, and sometimes because their own psychological problems make it possible.

She answered probing questions from faculty about language and intent, and the direct questions of students who wanted to know if she had "actually experienced" any of the story.

"I was going to put on the cover that one-third of this book is true," she said, and then revealed the paths by which life experience is transmuted into fiction.

Writers are generous folk, and never more so than when they help young writers struggling with their first projects.

Thanks, Cris! We were happy to have you spend time with us in the Tarheel State.

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