When Fact and Fiction Collide – Egyptology Meets Middle Grade Fiction

Lecture by Dr. Malayna Evans, University of Chicago

  • 5:00 p.m.Illinois
  • The Oriental Institute of the University of ChicagoLaSalle Banks Room,
    Oriental Institute, Lower Level
    1155 E 58th St
    Chicago, IL 60637
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Shabti, canopic jars and Isis Knot amulets have long been familiar to enthusiasts of ancient Egypt. But now these artifacts also play a role in a middle grade adventure series set in the Amarna Period. After earning her Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian history from the University of Chicago’s department of Near Eastern Language and Civilizations, Malayna Evans used her education to craft a fantasy series for middle grade readers. Book one, Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh, is available now. Malayna will share the challenges, disappointments, and breakthroughs she encountered on her path to publication. She’ll discuss how she used artifacts to drive the plot forward, relied on historical actors and settings to bring her story to life, and employed historical details as a scaffolding for a series loaded with giant scorpions, mummy armies, and outlandish magic … all in an effort to share the wonders of ancient Egypt with today’s young readers.


About the Speaker

Malayna Evans was raised in the mountains of Utah and spent her childhood climbing, skiing, reading Sci-Fi, and finding trouble. Many years later, she earned her Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian history from the University of Chicago. She’s used her education to craft a middle grade, time-travel series set in ancient Egypt. Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh is book one. Malayna spends her time writing, sharing her passion for ancient history with kids, and haunting Chicago’s best coffee shops. She lives in Oak Park, Il, with her two kids, a rescue dog, and a hedgehog.