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August Third Thursday: “The Family Saga: Writing the Multigenerational Novel”

August 17, 2023 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT

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WLT hosts Third Thursday each month, featuring discussions focusing on specific topics of interest to writers and readers, bringing together distinguished panelists for conversations moderated by a WLT staff member.

For our August Third Thursday, join us for a conversation with three authors – Justin Deabler, Rubén Degollado, and Kimberly Garza – whose novels explore family ties and the way they shape us across generations. 

The multigenerational novel has a long and beloved literary history. From Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE to Min Jin Lee’s PACHINKO to Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, family sagas have always captivated readers.

For writers, exploring a family across generations opens up a world of possibilities. There is room to explore place, legacy, history, culture, how the ties that bind us to where we’ve come from influence us as we move forward, and more. Whether you’re fictionalizing your own family or bringing a fictional one to life, the family saga is a literary feat for any writer. 

In this panel discussion, we’ll explore how our panelists – Justin Deabler, Rubén Degollado, and Kimberly Garza – approached this literary tradition in their novels. We’ll explore the challenges that come with the territory, what their family sagas offered them as storytellers and why they couldn’t focus on just one generation, how they navigated writing different characters who were tied to each other, but still their own, and more. This conversation will be moderated by WLT Program Director Sam Babiak.

RSVP to receive your link to the live webinar. 

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Buy our panelists’ books and support indie bookstores! You can find our August Third Thursday booklist here

Featured Presenter(s)

Justin Deabler grew up in Houston. He dropped out of high school when he was fifteen, went to Simon's Rock College, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is the General Counsel for the Queens Public Library. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, son, and two cats. Lone Stars is his first novel.  
Rubén Degollado headshot Rubén Degollado’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lithub, The Common, Texas Highways, and the recent anthologies Living Beyond Borders and Nepantla Familias. His first novel Throw received the Texas Institute of Letters 2020 Best Young Adult Book Award. The Family Izquierdo, his debut literary novel, was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2022, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, Texas Institute of Letters Fiction Finalist, and a PEN/Faulkner nominee. He lives in and writes about the Río Grande Valley of Texas.    
Kimberly Garza is the author of the novel The Last Karankawas (2022, Henry Holt). Her stories and essays have appeared in Texas Highways, Electric Literature, LitHub, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. She holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas, where she earned a PhD in 2019. A native Texan—born in Galveston, raised in Uvalde—she is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


August 17, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT
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Online via Zoom