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Cris Beam is an author of both fiction and non-fiction based in New York. She has an MFA in creative non-fiction from Columbia University and is now active as a teacher at Columbia University, New York University and Bayview Women´s Correctional Facility, with creative non-fiction writing as her area of special interest.
The memoir Mother Stranger (Atavist, 2012) documents Cris´s destructive relationship with her damaged mother, her decision to leave her mother´s home and the tremendous impact these events had on the course of her life as an adult. Our society often seeks to extoll the virtues of mothers and motherhood, but by doing so also tends to mute any expression of negative emotions we may, justifiably, experience as a direct consequence of our relationships with our mothers. Cris is, however, not afraid to blend the drama she experienced as a result of her mother´s behaviour into a compelling, carefully-crafted narrative, and one which quickly reached the top ten on Kindle Singles after its release this year in electronic format.
Cris spent seven years working with transgender teenagers and from the conversations which took place in this time and the experiences she shared with them, came the book Transparent (Harcourt, 2007), the first book ever to focus on the lives of transgender teenagers. Transparent won the Lambda Literary Award for best transgender book in 2008, and was a Stonewall Honor book. As well as being a talented and highly-accomplished non-fiction writer, Cris also writes fiction and has published a young adult novel, I am J (Little, Brown, 2011).
She is currently working on a book about the foster-care system in the USA, which will be published in 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
To find out more about Cris Beam and her work, visit her website.
Claire Hart has two great loves: art and communication. She enjoys communicating about art. Breaking down and exploring barriers to communication is how she earns her living. She lives her life partly in German and partly in English, but always in colour.