Grubbie Debut: Ani Gjika, author of An Unruled Body, in conversation with Alysia Abbott

PSB: Boston Edition and GrubStreet are delighted to present the latest installment of the Grubbie Debut event series featuring Ani Gjika, author of An Unruled Body, in conversation with Alysia Abbott! This event will take place on Tuesday, November 28 at 7pm at PSB: Boston Edition (50 Liberty Dr. Boston, MA 02210).

Please RSVP below to let us know you're coming and to receive event updates!

Or, register to attend virtually on Crowdcast!

In a searching and powerful debut memoir, award-winning poet and literary translator Ani Gjika tells a different kind of origin story by writing about the ways a woman listens to her own body, intuition, and desire.

Ani Gjika was born in Albania and came of age just after the fall of Communism, a time when everyone had a secret to keep and young women were afraid to walk down the street alone. When her family immigrates to America, Gjika finds herself far from the grandmother who helped raise her, grappling with a new language, and isolated from aging parents who are trying in their own ways to survive. When she meets a young man whose mind leans toward writing, as hers does, Ani falls in love--at least, she thinks it's love.

Set across Albania, Thailand, India, and the U.S., An Unruled Body is a young woman's journey to selfhood through the lenses of language, sexuality, and identity, and how she learns to find freedom of expression on her own terms.


Ani Gjika is the author and translator of eight books and chapbooks of poetry. Her translation of Luljeta Lleshanaku’s Negative Space won an English PEN Award and was shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize, the PEN America Award, and Best Translated Book Award. She was a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow at Boston University in 2011 and a Pauline Scheer Fellow in GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator program in 2019. She has taught English and writing throughout the U.S. and Thailand, and lives in Framingham, Massachusetts. An Unruled Body won Restless Books’ 2021 New Immigrant Writing Prize.

Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and an ALA Stonewall Award winner, a winner of the Madame Figaro Prix Heroine, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. In 2022, she was awarded an artist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the only child of gay poet and writer, Steve Abbott. As a journalist, essayist, and critic, she's written for The Boston Globe, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Vogue, Marie Claire,, TriQuarterly and Psychology Today, among other publications. She holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from New School University and was a contributing producer at WNYC Radio. Her first full-length book, Fairyland was completed with the help of a Ragdale Fellowship and the wonderful staff at W.W. Norton and is currently being made into a feature film. She's presented Fairyland at bookstores, libraries, literary festivals and universities across the United States and in France, as well as on NPR's Weekend Edition, Fresh Air, The Brian Lehrer Show, KQED's Forum, and the BBC's Outlook, among other venues. The French edition of Fairyland was published by Edition Globe on March 12, 2015 with a series of events in Paris. Additionally, the book has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese.

Alysia is also co-founder of The Recollectors Project, dedicated to remembering parents lost to AIDS and supporting the children they left behind. You can learn more about this project by listening to her interviews on The Leonard Lopate Show and Here & Now. 

Event date: 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books: Boston Edition
50 Liberty Dr.
Boston, MA 02210

RSVP Form: 

RSVP to attend our event with Ani Gjika!

Interested in joining us? Please RSVP here to let us know you're coming and to receive event updates.


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An Unruled Body By Ani Gjika Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632063403
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Restless Books - November 14th, 2023


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