“Factual Flights and Fictional Worlds: Historical Truth and Narrative Invention in The Movement of Stars”
By Amy Brill
Amy Brill’s debut novel The Movement of Stars was researched at the American Antiquarian Society and is inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America. The novel tells the story of Hannah Gardner Price a young woman living on Nantucket in 1845 whose passion for astronomy and her relationships with a whaler from the Azores put her in direct conflict with the mores and conventions of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman’s path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. During this presentation, Brill will read selections from her novel and comment on the journey of research and writing that led to its creation.
Amy Brill is a writer and producer. Her articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in numerous publications including Salon, Guernica, and Time Out New York, and have been anthologized in Before and After: Stories from New York and Lost and Found. As a broadcast journalist, she received a George Foster Peabody Award for writing MTV’s The Social History of HIV, and she researched, wrote, or produced over a dozen other projects for the network’s pro-social initiatives. She was an AAS Robert and Charlotte Baron Creative Artist Fellow in 2005.