SAMLA 90 Plenary Speaker: Lorraine M. López

Lorraine LopezLorraine M. López is the Gertrude Conaway Professor of English at Vanderbilt University and author of six books of fiction and editor or coeditor of three essay collections. Her first book, Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories won the inaugural Miguel Marmól Prize for fiction, and her second, Call Me Henri, was awarded the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature. López’s short story collection, Homicide Survivors Picnic was a Finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Prize. Her subsequent novels are: The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters,The Realm of Hungry Spirits, and The Darling, a Finalist for Foreword Review’s INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award and a 2016 book club selection by Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club.

Dr. López’ edited/co-edited essay collections are: An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor or Working-Class Roots;The Other Latin@: Writing against a Singular Identity; and, Rituals of Movement in the Writings of Judith Ortiz Cofer.  She recently completed a linked-story collection and a novel. The collected narratives comprise a campus comedy titled “Postcards from the Gerund State,” and the titular piece is a novella about the struggles women artists face and the conflicts—large and small—that ensue in an arts residency in Wyoming. The novel, “What We Have Here,” inscribes the experiences of a cross-dressing metal refinisher who accompanies his ex-wife and her children on a journey along El Camino Real through the California Mission system, a narrative that includes state history during the time Fray Junípero Serra oversaw the mission settlements.

Lorraine Lopez

Shortly after Dr. López was honored by Vanderbilt University with the 2016 Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award, she was named Gertrude Conaway Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. López co-founded, with Professor William Luis, the Latino and Latina Studies (LATS) Program at Vanderbilt.

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