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Sunday, October 7 • 9:00am - 10:25am
Experimental Thrillers: What Dunnit?!

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The conventions of the traditional thriller employ a patriarchal mode where suspense is managed, creating a trajectory that builds to climax in which previously inexplicable plot events become fully mansplained. In experimental thrillers, such a path becomes an orbit rather than a strict narrative; these thrillers thrive when nothing is revealed and the reader is, instead, led into an experience of increasing stress, uncertainty, and trauma, until her own psychic boundaries are crossed and a realm of true mystery penetrated. Our quotidian sense of the world is not reinforced, as in the masculine realism of the traditional thriller, but shaken until we begin to question our very ability to read clues and create order out of language. In this proposed event, we will begin with a quick exploration of the secret lineage of the experimental thriller, including seminal works by Kafka, Grand Master Margaret Millar, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi. Each writer will further expound on a particular element of the experimental thriller and perform an artwork-in-progress that strives to demonstrate convention-shattering principles such as climax deferral, plot ruin, dialogue obfuscation, and anti-characterization.


Jessica Alexander

Jessica Alexander’s story collection, Dear Enemy, was the winning manuscript in the 2016 Subito Prose Contest, as judged by Selah Saterstrom. Her fiction has been published in journals such as Fence, Black Warrior Review, PANK, Denver Quarterly, The Collagist, and DIAGRAM. She lives... Read More →

Afsheen Farhadi

Afsheen Farhadi’s fiction and essays have appeared in various publications, including Colorado Review, The Rumpus, Witness, The Millions, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn.  He is a Ph.D. candidate in the creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati. You can find him on Twitter... Read More →

Rachel Levy

Rachel Levy is the author of A Book So Red and the recipient of a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Prose. Her short fiction has appeared in Atticus Review, Black Warrior Review, Fence, Tarpaulin Sky, Western Humanities Review and other journals. She holds a PhD from... Read More →

Michael Shou-Yung Shum

Michael Shou-Yung Shum is an author and educator living in Queens, New York. His first novel, Queen of Spades, was released in 2017 by Forest Avenue Press.

Jaclyn Watterson

Jaclyn Watterson holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in New Delta Review, The Spectacle, Your Impossible Voice, The Collagist, and Puerto del Sol, among others. Her first book, Ventriloquisms, won the... Read More →

Sunday October 7, 2018 9:00am - 10:25am EDT
138 DeBartolo Hall

Attendees (2)