Date & Time
Friday, October 19, 2018
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Free and open to the public
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Meghan O’Gieblyn discusses "Interior States." She will be joined in conversation by Jon Baskin. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
Presented in partnership with The Point Magazine
At the Co-op
About the book: A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity: faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere. The critic and essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her “existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still,” and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture (“Hell”), a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design (“Species of Origin”), the paradoxes of Christian Rock (“Sniffing Glue”), Henry Ford’s reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages (“Midwest World”), and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity (“Ghosts in the Cloud”). Meghan O’Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California – which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time.
About the author: Meghan O’Gieblyn essays have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, n+1, The Point, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Best American Essays 2017, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola University, Chicago and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Interior States" is her debut collection of essays.
About the interlocutor: A founding editor of The Point, Jon Baskin is a writer and editor with a doctorate from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. In addition to his publications in The Point, he has written for Bookforum, n+1, the Nation, the Chronicle Review and the Los Angeles Review of Books. In 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education called him one of the “new public intellectuals” leading the current “renaissance in cultural journalism.” He currently serves as the associate director of the New School's Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program.