An interview with alum Lauren Alwan (fiction, ’08) about her 2016 Goldenberg Prize-winning story, “The Foreign Cinema” appears in Bellevue Literary Review:

What inspired you to write “The Foreign Cinema”?

The story was first written in grad school after I’d heard Pete Turchi’s lecture on stories with a short timeframe. I’d been writing stories based on my paternal grandmother’s life—she was born in Istanbul in 1906 and came to the U.S. newly married at 15—and because her life always struck me as monumental, I’d been thinking in great sweeps of time. The idea of a story that was narrow in its frame was appealing, and also freeing. So I gave myself strict parameters: the story had to take place over a meal, at a table, and the table I knew I’d use was the formal, old world one I knew from my grandmother’s house in Los Angeles.

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