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March 7 • 7:00 pm


Award-winning author and called “one of the best writers of her generation,” by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sophfronia Scott is back with Wild, Beautiful, and Free, a fresh retelling of Jane Eyre that follows a mixed-race woman fighting for her freedom and her inheritance in a nineteenth century America that does not believe she deserves either. Joined by fellow award-winning author, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, Scott will discuss her novel and how she brought the Civil War era to life and delivered a powerful story of perseverance, identity, and self-empowerment. 

 Virtual: $5 non-members and members. Admission price will be deducted from your signed copy of the book with purchase. REGISTER HERE. 

Copies of Wild, Beautiful, and Free are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time, where she co-authored the groundbreaking cover story “Twentysomething,” the first study identifying the demographic group known as Generation X, and People. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2004 Sophfronia was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards. 

 Sophfronia’s other books include The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton, Unforgivable Love, Love’s Long Line, Doing Business By the Book, and This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain. Her essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Yankee Magazine, The Christian Century, North American Review, NewYorkTimes.com, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her essays “Hope On Any Given Day,” “The Legs On Which I Move,” and “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” are listed among the Notables in the Best American Essays series.  

 Sophfronia is the recipient of a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.  She has taught at Regis University’s Mile High MFA and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She’s also delivered craft talks and held workshops at the Yale Writers’ Workshop, Meacham Writers’ Workshop, and the Hobart Festival of Women Writers. Currently, Sophfronia is the founding director of Alma College’s MFA in Creative Writing, a low-residency graduate program based in Alma, Michigan. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut where she continues to fight a losing battle against the weeds in her flower beds. 


ABOUT THE MODERATOR: Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. She is a product of the Puerto Rican communities on the island and in the South Bronx. She attended the New York City public school system and received her academic degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Queens College–City University of New York. As a child she was sent to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico where she was introduced to the culture of rural Puerto Rico, including the storytelling that came naturally to the women in her family, especially the older women. Much of her work is based on her experiences during this time. Dahlma taught creative writing and language and literature in the New York City public school system before becoming a young-adult librarian. She has also taught creative writing to teenagers, adults, and senior citizens throughout New York while honing her own skills as a fiction writer and memoirist.  

 The hardcover edition of Daughters of the Stone was listed as a 2010 Finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.  In 2020, the self-published the paperback edition of Daughters of the Stone won the 16th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards for Multicultural Fiction. In 2021, she was awarded the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship for Fiction, a City Artists Corps Grant, and the Letras Boricuas Fellow. Her short stories appear in several anthologies, including: Bronx Memoir Project, Latina Authors and Their Muses, Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul, Breaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012, and Growing Up Girl. Dahlma’s work also appears in various literary magazines such as the Afro-Hispanic Review and Kweli Journal. English and Spanish language editions of her second novel, A Woman of Endurance, were released by Amistad, HarperCollins. The paperback English edition of A Woman of Endurance will be released April 25, 2023. Since her retirement, Dahlma continues to dedicate herself to her writing, speaking engagements, panels, and workshops. She resides in the Bronx with her husband, photographer Jonathan Lessuck. 


Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from CT Humanities; the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign; The Hartford; The Mark Twain Foundation; The National Endowment for the Humanities; and Travelers. 



March 7
7:00 pm
Event Category: