Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom: Kathleen Williams Renk in conversation with Mary Helen Stefaniak

Please join us for a reading from Vindicated: A Novel of Mary Shelley with author Kathleen Williams Renk in conversation with Mary Helen Stefaniak.

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Historical Novels Review says of the book: "The language ... dances between poetic, philosophical, and occasionally frightening. ... a beautifully written, engaging novel that will stay with the reader for a long time." Amy Newman, author of On This Day in Poetry History says, “Kathleen Renk has written an engrossing narrative studded with historic detail and the passionate experiences of a woman’s extraordinary life.”

Kathleen Williams Renk taught British and Women's literature for nearly three decades in the U.S. and abroad. Her scholarly books include Caribbean Shadows and Victorian Ghosts: Women’s Writing and Decolonization (Univ. Press of Virginia,1999), Magic, Science, and Empire in Postcolonial Literature: The Alchemical Literary Imagination (Routledge, 2012), and Women Writing the Neo-Victorian Novel: Erotic "Victorians" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, Williams Renk studied fiction writing with James Alan MacPherson. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Iowa City MagazineLiterary YardPage and Spine, and CC & D MagazineVindicated is her first novel. Her second novel, In an Artist’s Studio, about the Victorian artists/poets Christina Rossetti and Lizzie Siddal, is currently under consideration with a press in the U.K.

She will be joined in conversation by Mary Helen Stefaniak, the prize-winning author of The Turk and My Mother, Self Storage and Other Stories, and The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, which won the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and professor emerita of creative writing at Creighton University, Mary Helen teaches fiction writing in the M.F.A. Program at Pacific University and in the International Summer School at Renmin University in Beijing. Her third novel, The World of Pondside, is forthcoming from Blackstone Publishing. Mary Helen and her husband John have been Iowa City residents since 1982.

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