By: Sarah Williams, Staff Reporter aminattaforna-hires2

Award winning author, Aminatta Forna will be delivering the keynote presentation at UMF’s Storyfest this upcoming Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00 pm in The Landing. Her lecture, “Reversing the Gaze: Narrative as a Two Way Mirror”, is an interdisciplinary exploration of the role played by stories in human culture.

Forna was born in 1964 in Glasgow, Scotland, raised in both Sierra Leone and Britain, and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water. Forna has won notable awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award 2011, and the 2014 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize (Fiction).

According to her website,, her books have been translated into sixteen languages. Her essays have appeared in Granta, the Guardian, the Observer and Vogue. Forna is currently Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in Somerset, England. In 2011 and 2013 she held the post of Sterling Brown Visiting Professor at Williams College Massachusetts.

UMF Storyfest is a corroboration of students and professors coming together to discuss the question, “What makes a good story?” The UMF University Store will be present at the reading and will be selling Forna’s books before and after her discussion. Cash and check payments will accepted. UMF Storyfest is free and open to the public.