By TODD GOTTULA
KEARNEY – Four English instructors at University of Nebraska at Kearney will present their own works at a special reading on campus.
“Family Architectures: Fiction Reading” is at 4 p.m. Thursday (April 23) at the Frank House. Sponsored by the UNK Department of English, the event is free and open to the public.
The fiction reading will include stories from Senior Lecturer Jessica Hollander, Lecturer Katie McGinnis and graduate students Kevin Stones of Kearney and Joel Cardenas of Kearney.
Hollander will read from her book “In These Times the Home is a Tired Place,” which includes a collection of 19 narratives that dissect domestic life. Hollander joined the English department this year to teach beginning, advanced and graduate-level fiction.
Winner of the 2013 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, Hollander’s collection fuses the common (childhood adventures, unhappy adults) with the bizarre (a grandmother obsessed with buttons, a gym full of people refusing to wear clothes) to show how social and family pressures drive people to absurd or destructive behavior.
McGinnis will present an excerpt from “Horse Trader,” her nonfiction novel that dramatizes her investigation into her grandfather’s 1971 murder.
She currently is working on a collection of short fiction “A Little Town No One Knows Where,” which includes stories set in Nebraska based in part on lived experience.
McGinnis will begin work as a Ph.D. candidate in fiction writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia this summer.
Stones will read from his story “Once Beneath the Poppy Fields,” focusing on interactions between Greek gods Hades and Persephone. He is president of UNK’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter and is pursuing his master’s degree in English and creative writing.
Cardenas will read a story that portrays a soldier returning home to his mother and sister after finding out his father passed away. Unable to return in enough time to attend his father”s funeral, he faces an adversarial homecoming. Cardenas is pursuing a Master of Arts with a focus on British literature.
“All of our writing in some way complicates family relationships and cultural assumptions about the roles we assume when we call each other ‘mother’ and ‘brother’ and ‘wife,’” Hollander said.
Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, firstname.lastname@example.org