Megan Cummins presents "If the Body Allows It," with Brigid Hughes

September 9, 2020, 7:30 PM

Megan Cummins joins us to share her debut story collection, If the Body Allows It, in conversation with Brigid Hughes. Co-hosted with A Public Space. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here: 

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In her debut story collection, managing editor at A Public Space Megan Cummins looks at the opioid crisis at a slant. A book about illness and its aftermath, guilt and addiction, and the relationships formed and lost along the way, If the Body Allows It is framed by the story of Marie, a woman in her thirties living in Newark, New Jersey. For Marie, life is always on the brink of never being the same again. Even though her father died from an opioid overdose, Marie sees his death as her own failure, and the stories within Marie's frame are the stories she writes after she meets and falls in love with a man whose grief mirrors her own. 

"In this collection of stories, the art of truth-telling has been combined with the magic of fortune-telling. . . . Moving and haunting, edgy and searching, reaffirming and devastating. To read it is to be dazzled, and to be changed. A serious accomplishment." - Laura Kasischke, author of Mind of Winter

"What would Emma Bovary face in our twenty-first century-would she find her needed liberty, or trudge through a life that is only different from hers cosmetically? These questions arise when I read If the Body Allows It. Megan Cummins is a gifted storyteller, and these stories, intimately written, nevertheless peel off all layers from everyday existence to reveal the deep wounds, the tender hopes, and the dilemmas, tragic and comic, of the modern-day Emmas in the world." - Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End

Megan Cummins is a writer and the managing editor of A Public Space. Her debut story collection If the Body Allows It (Nebraska) was awarded the 2019 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, GuernicaOne Teen Story, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She is working on a YA novel set in Michigan and South Dakota. She lives in New York City.

Brigid Hughes is the editor of the literary and arts magazine A Public Space and A Public Space Books. She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University, and lives in New York City.

A Public Space is an independent nonprofit publisher of an eponymous award-winning literary, arts, and culture magazine, and A Public Space Books. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, it has been our mission to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines.