Writer of Color: Angela Flournoy

Photo of POC writer Angela Flournoy from The Cut

Quick Facts on POC Writer Angela Flournoy

  • Writes fiction, novel
  • Graduated from Iowa Writer’s Workshop
  • Taught by ZZ Packer

Biography of POC Writer Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy grew up in Southern California. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Southern California. She then obtained her MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

During her time at Iowa’s MFA, she traveled to Detroit to visit her father’s family, which later became the research for her debut novel The Turner House.

To learn about her writing process, check out this interview she had with writermag.com.

Or, read up on a fun interview she had with Mary Review where she speaks about the complexities of being a writer of color.

Before You Read POC Writer Angela Flournoy

Detroit, Michigan

Metro Detroit is home to over 40 million people, making it the second most populous city in the Midwest. It is also referred to as Motor City, Motown, Hockeytown and the D.

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Detroit is most notable as the home to the major American motor companies—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. It is well known for its lively music scene, prominent since the 1940s. This is also the birthplace of Motown Records, the label that founded Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and The Jackson 5. Motown played a pivotal role in integrating Black culture into the mainstream.

A rough estimate of demographics suggests that:

  • 82 percent of the population identifies as Black or African American
  • 7 percent of the population identifies as Latino
  • 10 percent of the population identifies as White or Non-Hispanic
  • 1 percent of the population identifies as Asian

The large Black community is the result of the Great Migration in the 20th century when African Americans of the South looked to move to less hostile environments. As an industrial city, Detroit offers many opportunities. However, at present, the population is declining quickly as manufacturers suffer losses and people look for work elsewhere.

Quotes from POC Writer Angela Flournoy

“No outside pressure could live up to the pressure I’ve always put on myself as writer.”

“Expecting a short-story writer to be able to write great novels is like expecting a great painter to have a facility with sculpture. It’s cool if they do, but if they don’t, it doesn’t make them any less of a painter.”

“So, I was still a minority in some way in this community [of Mexicans and Filipinos]. But there was a lot of difference between people, generally; there was also a lot of room for similarity. This dynamic is flattened when the contrast is whiteness. When whiteness is absent, issues of identity do not get flattened in the same way. There’s room for more complexity.” 

Works by POC Writer Angela Flournoy

2015 The Turner House



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