Winnie Li and Marti Leimbach in Conversation

Winnie M Lee

by Sarah Glazer

In June, Winnie M Li and Marti Leimbach met to discuss narrating sexual trauma. Writer, producer and activist, Li’s novel Dark Chapter, inspired by her own experience of rape, recently won the Guardian’s Not the Booker award, and was listed by Stylist Magazine as one of “10 Smashing Debut Novels to Look Forward To in 2017.”

Bestselling novelist Marti Leimbach’s, most recent novel Age of Consent, was based on a relationship between a grown man and teenage girl. Their conversation was wide-ranging and honest, looking at the challenges of drawing from life to make fiction, how narrative distances us from traumatic events, and how in the act of writing a story you think you know you can still be taken by surprise.