Insider/Outsider: Deborah Clearman and David Nicholson


A sense of place is the starting point for these two short story collections. Native Washingtonian David Nicholson, founding editor of Black Film Review and a former editor and reviewer for The Washington Post Book World, celebrates the lives of ordinary Washingtonians—maids, taxi drivers, janitors, barbers, and handymen—in stories that bring out a mythical, even magical, dimension of everyday occurrences. “The characters here may be strangers in their country, and even in their city, but not in their neighborhood, which Nicholson depicts with sensitivity and grace.” (NY Times)

Deborah Clearman, former program director of NY Writers Coalition and creative writing workshop leader for underserved populations throughout New York City, sets her stories in Guatemala, where she has lived for extended periods, and writes about the human cost of international adoption, drug trafficking, and immigration in “stories about hard choices borne of desperation and the stark delineations between classes in both Guatemala and the United States . . . Clearman offers the same photographic eye and acute vision of Guatemalan culture throughout . . . stories of strength and ethical quandary.” (Kirkus)

The authors will read from their work, and discuss the questions that arise from their status as insider or outsider, in a conversation and Q&A about their writing.



Deborah Clearman is the author of a novel Todos Santos, from Black Lawrence Press. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. She is the former Program Director for NY Writers Coalition, and she teaches creative writing in such nontraditional venues as senior centers, public housing projects, and the jail for women on Rikers Island. She lives in New York City and Guatemala.

Born in Washington, D.C., David Nicholson spent much of his childhood in Jamaica before his family returned to Washington in the 1960s. He attended the city’s public schools, the Sidwell Friends School, Haverford College, Federal City College, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before graduating from the University of the District of Columbia. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. He is the founding editor of the magazine Black Film Review. A former journalist, he worked for the Associated Press, the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, and The Washington Post, where he was an editor and reviewer for the paper’s Book World. Nicholson is the author of a collection of stories, Flying Home: Seven Stories of the Secret City. David Nicholson’s stories have appeared in Stress City: A Big Book of Fiction by 51 D.C. GuysKiss the Sky: Fiction & Poetry Starring Jimi HendrixBest Stories from New Writers, and Best African American Fiction 2010. His essays have been anthologized in Black Men Speaking and Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream.

Event date: 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Flying Home: Seven Stories of the Secret City by David Nicholson (Paperback) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780931181450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Paycock Press - June 1st, 2015

Concepcion and the Baby Brokers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996838450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rain Mountain Press - March 30th, 2017