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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

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Jun 18, 2018

Novelist Leni Zumas imagines a dystopian future that places severe restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. She took us on a deep dive into these issues through the lens of speculative fiction with selections from her new book Red Clocks. She was joined onstage by Tiffany Hankins, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, along with moderator and feminist reporter Megan Burbank. They came together to ruminate on Zumas’s fiction and form a discussion of the current state of reproductive rights in the United States, blending literary talent with reproductive health expertise and a feminist perspective.

Zumas, Hankins, and Burbank meditate on the narrative of Red Clocks, in which Zumas evokes The Handmaid’s Tale to explore the contours of female experience. The story posits a world where abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. Zumas followed the struggles of five very different women as they navigate these structures alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom. Join Zumas, Hankins, and Burbank for a preview of this incisive novel—followed by an unflinching look at the present and future of women’s reproductive rights in our country.

Leni Zumas is a writer whose work has appeared in Granta, The Cut, The Sunday Times (UK), and others. Her novel Red Clocks was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Literary Fiction pick. She is also the author of Farewell Navigator and The Listeners, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book award.

Tiffany Hankins started working at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington as a Community Organizer with our Field Canvass in 2009 and has served as Political Director, Deputy Director, and now leads the organization as Executive Director.

Megan Burbank is a writer, reporter, and editor specializing in politics, culture, and feminism who has reported on numerous issues related to reproductive rights. Her writing can be found at Teen Vogue, Bitch, The Toast, The Stranger, The Portland Mercury, and The Seattle Times, where she works as an editor on the features desk.

Recorded live at Hillman City Collaboratory by Town Hall Seattle on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.