Monica Byrne

NPR's Arun Rath talks to author Monica Byrne about how controversy surrounding this year's Hugo Awards highlights a difference in how speculative and literary fiction approach diversity. "The speculative community hashes out its sexism and racism issues right on the surface, whereas the literary community has convinced itself it doesn't have any," she writes.

Girl in the Road book cover
crownpublishing.com

Author Monica Byrne was reading a poem that included the words "ocean" and "bridge," when something just clicked. She couldn't get the idea out of her head: a pedestrian bridge so long it spanned the Arabian Sea. The vision formed the basis of her debut novel, "The Girl in the Road" (Crown Publishing/2014), which is set decades in the future.

The novel combines months of research and travel with numerous autobiographical details. It considers the different ways people recover from trauma.

Learn more about Monica and her work here.

Playwright Monica Byrne's latest work tackles the Catholic Church, Margaret Sanger and women’s rights through the story of a group of adolescents learning about their bodies and the world. It's called "What Every Girl Should Know," and it takes place in a Catholic Reformatory where four girls worship Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and create fantasy lives inspired by her example. Things take a turn when tragedy strikes and tears apart the girls' make-believe world.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Byrne about her new production and how her experience as a Catholic influenced her writing.