Debut Novel Explores ‘The Gulf’ Between Believers And Non-Believers

Apr 16, 2019

Author Belle Boggs
Credit Barbara Tyroler

What happens when an atheist poet decides to direct a school for Christian writers? That question begins Belle Boggs’ debut novel, “The Gulf” (Graywolf Press/2019).

Marianne is a struggling poet who is about to lose her Brooklyn apartment. When her ex-fiancé asks her to direct a low-residency writing school for Christians in Florida, it seems like a great way to pay back her student loans and get on her feet again — even though she is an atheist.

But as Marianne develops relationships with the students, she begins to have ethical questions about profiting off of them.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Boggs about her debut novel, for-profit education and the financing of art. Bogg is an associate professor in the department of English and director of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at North Carolina State University.

She will be at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville on Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. and at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m.