Join us as we welcome authors Sophia Kouidou-Giles and Ann Marie Jackson, talking about their brand-new books and the primacy of place in memoir and novel. Sophia's new book, An Unexpected Ally, is a retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Circe. She has also written a memoir about returning to her homeland, Greece, to explore her family history. Ann Marie's new book, The Broken Hummingbird, is set in Mexico and features an expat struggling to know her new country and her own heart.
Sophia Kouidou-Giles was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and was university educated in the US. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in social work. In her more than thirty-year child welfare career, she served as a practitioner, educator, researcher, and administrator and published articles in Greek and English professional journals. Her writing has appeared in Voices, Persimmon Tree, Assay, The Raven's Perch, The Time Collection, and The Blue Nib. Her poetry chapbook is Transitions and Passages. Her work has appeared in anthologies including The Time Collection, Visual Verse, and Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis. Her memoir, Επιστροφή Στη Θεσσαλονίκη/ Return to Thessaloniki, was published in Greek by Tyrfi Press. The English version, Sophia's Return: Uncovering My Mother's Past, was published by She Writes Press in 2021. Sophia lives in Seattle, Washington, near her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.
Ann Marie Jackson is cofounder of microlending organization Mano Amiga and former Vice President of Casita Linda, which builds homes for families in extreme poverty in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Early in her career, after earning degrees from Stanford and Harvard, Jackson joined the US Department of State to promote human rights in China and other East Asian and Pacific Island nations. She has also worked for NGOs including Human Rights Watch, A Better Chance, and Internews, and traveled widely on five continents. This is her first novel. A portion of the proceeds from The Broken Hummingbird will benefit nonprofit organizations serving women and families in central Mexico. A native of Seattle, Washington, Jackson currently resides in San Miguel de Allende.