Author Elizabeth Kadetsky to read at Penn State Behrend

October 06, 2015

ERIE, Pa. — A story is usually only as good as its plot, but Elizabeth Kadetsky would argue that any plot is only as good as the characters in it.

“In honing and reconceiving (my short story collection), one ‘aha!’ moment was when I realized the stories and the collection as a whole needed to be driven by character rather than concept,” Kadetsky said in a 2014 interview with Vol. 1 Brooklyn. “Journalists think in these terms as well. They talk about ‘great stories,’ and in my travels as a reporter I heard so many good ones. I had to unlearn the instinct to make the story entirely about its plot. Fiction is about plumbing the soul. Story, I’ve come to believe, is a construct to help explore a consciousness.”

It’s a writing strategy that has served Kadetsky well. Her short stories have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices and two Best American Short Stories notable citations.

Kadetsky will read excerpts from her latest novella, “On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World,” on Thursday, Oct. 22, when the 2015-16 edition of the Creative Writers Reading Series resumes at Penn State Behrend. Her 6 p.m. reading and the reception that will precede it are free and open to the public. Both events will be held in the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel.

“On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World” was published in April and is the third book to be released by Kadetsky. Her short story collection, “The Poison that Purifies You,” was published in September 2014 and her memoir, “First There Is a Mountain,” was released in 2004.

Kadetsky is an assistant professor of creative writing at Penn State’s University Park campus. She has been a fellow at MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the St. James Centre for Creativity in Malta. She is also a fiction editor at OurStories (ourstories.us) and a contributing editor at Defunct: A Literary Depository for the Ages (defunctmag.com).

The Creative Writers Reading Series is produced by Penn State Behrend’s bachelor of fine arts in creative writing degree program with support from the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund. For additional information, call 814-898-6108 or visit behrend.psu.edu/readings.

  • Elizabeth Kadetsky will read excerpts from her latest novella, “On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World,” on Thursday, Oct. 22, when the 2015-16 edition of the Creative Writers Reading Series resumes at Penn State Behrend.

    Elizabeth Kadetsky will read excerpts from her latest novella, “On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World,” on Thursday, Oct. 22, when the 2015-16 edition of the Creative Writers Reading Series resumes at Penn State Behrend.

    IMAGE: Penn State Behrend

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 07, 2015