The author will give a reading as well as a writing workshop
Visiting writer Nina McConigley will be giving a reading from her short story collection, Cowboys and East Indians at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, April 9th in Room 1005 at Western Wyoming Community College.
McConigley was born in Singapore and grew up in Wyoming. Her book, Cowboys and East Indians is set in Wyoming and India, and won the prestigious PEN Open Book Award in 2014 as well as the High Plains Book award and made Oprah’s list. The PEN judges said, “Nina McConigley gives us Wyoming precisely the way we expect it—in landscape, sky and animal life—and in ways we don’t. The inhabitants of this surprising, thrilling, and richly textured short story collection are unpredictable, both in their actions and identities.”
The short story collection explores the immigrant experience and the collisions of cultures in the American West and examines with wit and empathy what it means to be ‘the wrong kind of Indians living in Wyoming”, according to the High Country News.
Writer Eleanor Henderson said that the author “crafts out of the Wyoming landscape a West few readers have known before—a place where, when you don’t look like everyone else, there aren’t many places to hide. And yet anyone who has ever felt a complicated kind of love for home, country, and family will find pleasure and wisdom in these stunning stories.”
Critic Antonya Nelson said, “What I love about this collection of stories are its wit and warmth. This book celebrates human pluck and humor, a new sensibility for a new time when everyone is both at home and utterly alien in the contemporary American West.”
McConigley will also be giving a writing workshop as a guest in the WWCC memoir writing class Tuesday afternoon, April 9th from 1:00-3:30 p.m. at the Young at Heart Community Center, and anyone interested in writing is invited to attend.
McConigley currently teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She is passionate about sharing a different perspective of Wyoming with her students as well. She said, “I feel it’s my responsibility to my students who come in from all over Wyoming to show that there are people of color that grew up here, we stayed here, and we love it here.”
She holds a MA from the University of Wyoming and a MFA from the University of Houston. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, American Short Fiction, The Asian American Literary Review, among others. She is the daughter of Casper residents Pat and Nimi McConigley, who was the first woman of color to run a TV news station and the first Indian born person in the country to be elected and serve in state government.
McConigley’s visit is co-sponsored by the Western Wyoming Cultural Affairs Committee, Sweetwater BOCES, The Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation, and the Outlaw Inn.