Synopses & Reviews
Literary Nonfiction. Literary Criticism. Women's Studies. "Poet, memoirist, fiction writer, and critic Cherry has assembled a lissome and winning retrospective collection of essays on writing, reading, and life," writes Donna Seaman in her starred Booklist review. "Piquant essays on family history and her coming-of-age are deepened by reflections on beauty, art, and vocation. In fresh and inquiring portraits of exceptional southern women writers--Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Hardwick, Mary Ward Brown, Bobbie Ann Mason--Cherry explores the nature of a literary life." Library Journal writes, "Cherry explores the craft of writing, tracing her own development from rebellious college student to award-winning author of 19 books... Cherry's story will prove inspirational to aspiring writers as will her critical essays."
Cherry's essays touch upon such themes as literary enthusiasm, American literary culture since the 1960s, feminism, cultural diversity, and the inspiring work of contemporary women writers, from Bobbie Ann Mason to Mary Ward Brown. The collection ends with an autobiographical essay reflecting on the author's own career, including her study with such luminaries as George Garrett and Fred Chappell. Serious yet often laced with humor, Girl in a Library is both poignant and surprising. It will appeal to aspiring and accomplished writers, to readers interested in women's writing, Southern literary culture, and more broadly, to those who love books and reading.
About the Author
Kelly Cherry is the author of nineteen books of poetry, novels, short stories, criticism, and memoir--including this year's Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life and The Retreats of Thought: Poems--eight chapbooks, and two translations of classical plays. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the South, and her collection The Society of Friends: Stories received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award in 2000 for the best short story collection of 1999. For her body of work in poetry she has received the Hanes Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has held named chairs and distinguished visiting writer positions at a number of universities. She and her husband, Burke Davis III, live on a small farm in Virginia with their two dogs.