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Christina Meldrum Christina Meldrum is an award-winning author and an attorney. Her most recent novel is AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY, published in 2011 by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Her first novel MADAPPLE, published in the United States by Knopf in 2008, was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award and the PEN USA Literary Award, an American Library Association Best Book, a Booklist Editor's Choice, a Kirkus Best Book, a New York Public Library Best Book, a Vanity Fair Hot Type Pick and a Chicago Tribune Hot Summer Read. MADAPPLE, translated into Italian, Japanese and German, also was published by Fazi (Italy) in 2009, Tokyo Shogensha (Japan) in 2012 and Random House Germany in 2013. Christina is finalizing her third novel, examining the relationship between authoritarian governance and ethnic identity—presently crucial topics that were less obvious when Christina formulated the book concept years ago.

Christina has lived, worked and studied in the United States, Europe and Africa. A former litigator and human rights activist, Christina received her law degree from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. At the San Francisco office of Shearman & Sterling, Christina helped to litigate complex class actions and represented individual pro bono clients in political asylum, discrimination and environmental cases. She interned with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, where she lobbied the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the African Commission on Human and People's Rights. She was a research assistant and author for the Harvard Project on School Desegregation and an editor and author for the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Her work in Africa includes grassroots development and micro-financing for Voluntary Workcamps Association of Ghana and Women of the World Investments, an organization that funds women-led businesses in Senegal and for which Christina was an Advisory Board member. She continues to be dedicated to social justice work in the United States and abroad, particularly in the areas of education, women's rights, just economic development and immigration. Most recently she worked with Liberian aid organizations attempting to provide schooling to children affected by the Ebola crisis, at the reading center at La Escuela de Santiago in Nicaragua, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Santa Barbara's Warming Center and on immigration reform, particularly with regard to child refugees from Central America.

In addition, Christina is a teacher, panelist, speaker, coach and urban farmer. She taught creative writing at Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Books Inc's Wordplay Workshop. She served as a panelist and speaker for the Harvard Law School Women's Leadership Summit, Books Group Expo and Why There Are Words, among others. She was a commentator and interviewee on public radio, including National Public Radio's Morning Edition. She coached/tutored youth in cross-country, Odyssey of the Mind, high school mock trial and creative writing. She also gardens and raises chickens and longs to be a beekeeper.

Christina lives with her family in Santa Barbara, California, although she has strong ties to the San Francisco Bay Area and to Michigan, where she grew up. She welcomes opportunities to combine her passion for writing and teaching with her commitment to social justice work.

2020 update: Christina Meldrum has passed away.

Audio interview with Liane Hansen on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday

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Author photograph: Lilac Chang