Ursula Hegi

in conversation with Barbara Wright

Recorded Saturday, August 29th, 2020

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Ursula Hegi in conversation with Barbara Wright
Saturday, August 29, 2020

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Ursula Hegi‘s latest novel, The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls – about three mothers, and set on the shores of the Nordsee – is testament to the ways in which women hold each other up in the most unexpected of circumstances

Ursula was born in Germany in 1946 and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. She is the author of 12 books. Several of her novels, including Stones from the River and Floating in My Mother’s Palm, explore German and German-American identity in the 20th century. Set in Burgdorf, a fictional village in Germany, they are part of the Burgdorf Cycle, which also includes the novel, Children and Fire published in 2011.

Ursula’s work has been translated into many languages, and her awards include the Italian Grinzane Cavour, an NEA Fellowship, and a PEN/Faulkner Award. She has served as a juror for the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle.

Ursula lives with her husband in in New York State. She teaches in the MFA program in Writing and Literature at Stony Brook, Southampton.

“It’s a lot like method acting. I want to be within the authenticity of each character’s life.”

– Ursula Hegi

Get ready to join Ursula in conversation, Saturday, August 29th.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation.

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any that match your interests.
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  • 5

    votes

    You do a great deal of research for your novels, and this novel, The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls, is set in Germany in the 19th century. What surprised you most about where the writing, or the research, took you for this novel?

  • 4

    votes

    Most recently, what book has moved you?

  • 3

    votes

    How have your german roots and experiences as an immigrant influenced your writing?

  • 2

    votes

    Hi, Ursula! I hope you’re doing well! The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls has myth and folklore and magical realism woven through it, while your previous novels seem more bound by the laws of our universe, and I’m wondering if that’s an element that is going to feature more heavily in your future works?

  • 2

    votes

    Grief seems centered in many of your novels. What has inspired this?

  • 2

    votes

    Spokane, Washington misses you! My question: Eastern Washington University, your previous employer, is laying off 400 faculty and staff. Unfortunately this is not unique to EWU, this is a country wide issue. As a university professor, what do you think is the future of higher education?

  • 2

    votes

    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

  • 1

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    Meine Freude ist GROSS!!!! Hab einmal vor vielen Jahren mit Ihnen gesprochen . Danke für heute. You signed Stones for me….is still my favorite.

  • 1

    votes

    First, thank you for Stones From the River, such a beautiful, poignant, moving book. My question is what keeps you writing? When you get stuck, where or how do you go for inspiration? (Maybe you don’t get stuck! 🙂

  • 1

    votes

    What is the symbolism of water to you and in your novels? Specifically in The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls?

  • 0

    votes

    Vielen herzlichen Dank für Ihr Werk. Sie haben uns geholfen, unsere eigenen Erfahrungen als Einwanderer aus der Bundesrepublik besser zu verstehen. Ich glaube in Ihrem fiktiven Burgdorf Kaiserswerth zu erkennen!

  • 0

    votes

    Leider ist die Übertragung dauernd unterbrochen, so dass ich gleich aufgebe, dabei hätte ich Sie so gerne gehört!

  • 0

    votes

    Do you think that your latest novel will help us gain a perspective of the current global pandemic?

  • 0

    votes

    what time is the reading?