Live from Prairie Lights | J.C. Hallman

Live from Prairie Lights | J.C. Hallman promotional image

Iowa Writers' Workshop alum J.C. Hallman will read from Say Anarcha: A Young Woman, a Devious Surgeon, and the Harrowing Birth of Modern Women's Health. In 1846, a young surgeon, J. Marion Sims ("The Father of Gynecology"), began several years of experimental surgeries on a young enslaved woman known as Anarcha ("The Mother of Gynecology"). This series of procedures—performed without anesthesia and resulting in Anarcha's so-called "cure"—forever altered the path of women's health. "This compelling, extremely well-researched account of the life of an enslaved Black woman changes the historical narrative surrounding J. Marion Sims and engages us in a sober reckoning over the legacy of slavery, medical experimentation and gynecology ...'Anarcha' is a name we should say, remember and reflect upon as we still contend with a history of racial injustice that has left us vulnerable to continuing racial disparities in health care, injustice and unnecessary suffering." — Bryan Stevenson

J. C. Hallman is the author of five previous works of nonfiction, including Wm & H'ry, and a book of short stories, Hospital for Bad Poets. He has been a Guggenheim and McKnight Foundation fellowship recipient, and his previous work on Anarcha has appeared in Harper's Magazine, the Forum (of the African American Policy Forum), the Baffler, Montgomery Advertiser, and Urology.

To subscribe to a weekly emailing list of Writers' Workshop events, please fill in the linked form or email with “Events Mailing List Subscribe” in the subject line.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Books
15 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
View on Event Calendar
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Kathleen Johnson in advance at 319-337-2681 or