Friday, June 28, 2013

Karen Brown

Karen Brown is the author of a novel The Longings of Wayward Girls (July 2013), and two short story collections, Pins & Needles (July 2013) and Little Sinners and Other Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, and Good Housekeeping, and in many literary journals.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Brown's reply:
I am on a rereading binge. I’m diving back into Juliet Barker’s The Brontes: Wild Genius on the Moors, the new edition of her 1994 biography about the unusually gifted Bronte family. I’m drawn to the siblings and the worlds they created in their little sewn books as children. Their lives provided plenty of material—the dreary schools they attended, their work as governesses—but they were so imaginative that they were able to transcend their own material. Barker details each of them succumbing, one by one, to consumption—the dramatic way, for example, that Emily died—refusing to accept that she was ill and forging through her daily chores before she was forced to admit she could not go on; Anne’s attempt to hold death at bay by visiting the seaside at Scarborough, and dying on the lodging house’s sofa. Interesting, too, is sole survivor Charlotte’s control of her sisters’ works once they were gone. While I often hear people mention how bleak and isolated their lives were, reading the biography I sense the bleakness was greatly offset by the writing itself. Next on the rereading list: Wuthering Heights, The Professor, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Learn more about the book and author at Karen Brown's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue