Literary Lesbians

Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte

You wouldn’t assume that someone who studied political science at MIT would be a fiction writer, but Kirsten Dinnall Hoye proves to be, like her characters, more than one-dimensional. “I think that my interest in social science permeates my creative imagination,” says Hoyte. “I try to create original characters who may surprise the readers in the ways that they don't conform to stereotypes.” Hoyte’s first novel, Black Marks (Akashic Books, 2006), was a nominee for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction. She has won two Astraea Foundation awards: the 2005 Emerging Lesbian Writer Award and the 2001 Claire of the Moon Award. Black Marks tells the story of a woman who tries to tie together all the pieces of her life to find out who she truly is. “I've always been very concerned with how our behavior, choices and personal relationships are shaped by our social identity, and our family relationships,” says Hoyte. “Furthermore, I strongly believe that the personal is political. Each person's story is unique and far more than the sum of her social identities. Personal identity trumps race, class, gender, sexual orientation and those other categories favored by social scientists.” Hoyte is working on her second novel and an accompanying multi-media DVD. The book is a work of speculative fiction that includes time travel between centuries. In it, Hoyte will explore subjects such as residential segregation, school integration, and race/class relations within the African-American community. Hoyte holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and is a doctoral candidate at Harvard. She teaches English literature and computer science at Concord Academy in Massachusetts. –RD n

Free Life Campaign 10/27