Acclaimed author Ling Ma MFA ’15 will host a reading at Klarman Hall

Cornell alumnus and acclaimed author Ling Ma MFA ’15 will be the second guest to host a reading as part of the 2022 Barbara and David Zalaznick Reading Series on Thursday, March 10 at Klarman Hall, where she will read excerpts from her collection of works of fiction.

Ma has won numerous accolades for her writing, including the Whiting Prize and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts.

The Chinese-American author is best known for her debut science fiction novel Breakupwhich won a Kirkus Prize — a prestigious prize that rewards some winning authors with $50,000 — for fiction in 2018, as well as the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award. Breakup was also a New York Times Outstanding Book and Best NPR Book of 2018.

According to her faculty biography at the University of Chicago, where she has worked in the English department since 2017, Ma draws creative inspiration from a variety of sources –– including novelist Franz Kafka, 90s/00s zines , contemporary art and reality TV –– and is particularly interested in using his writing to explore issues of work, money, the body, changing cities and the supernatural.

Before attending Cornell, Ma was a journalist and editor, and her work has been featured in Granta, News Feed, PlayboyChicago reader and Vice.

While earning her MFA, Ma also taught creative writing and English literature at Cornell.

After the reading, Ma will hold a book signing and her book Breakup will be available for purchase at local Buffalo Street Books.

Ma’s Reading will be the second installment of the Spring 2022 Zalaznick Reading Series. Organizers plan to host two more events this semester: one with poet and PEN America/Vladimir Nabokov Prize winner Mr. NourbeSe Philip the Thursday April 14, and the other with Vietnamese multi-genre writer Bao Phi on Thursday April 28.

The first reading of the semester took place on February 24 and brought together Cornell professors Professor J. Robert Lennon, English Literatures, and Professor Mukoma Wa Ngugi, English Literatures.

Ma’s Reading is open to the University community in person with Cornell ID and a protective medical mask. Those interested in participating online can access Zoom information here.

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