Fisher Family Writer-in-Residence Cary Holladay to read March 25

February 18, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Award-winning fiction writer, professor and Penn State alumna Cary Holladay will visit Penn State virtually as the Fisher Family Writer-in-Residence during the week of March 22-26. As part of her visit, Holladay will give a free reading from her works at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.


Award-winning fiction writer, professor and Penn State alumna Cary Holladay.

IMAGE: Photo Provided

Holladay has published eight volumes of fiction: “The People Down South,” “The Palace of Wasted Footsteps,” “Mercury, A Novel,” “The Quick-Change Artist: Stories,” “A Fight in the Doctor's Office,” “Horse People: Stories,” “The Deer in the Mirror,” and most recently “Brides in the Sky: Stories and a Novella.” Holladay has also published more than 100 short stories or essays in journals and anthologies, including Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Tin House, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best. 

“Brides in the Sky,” published in 2019, is a collection of stories and a novella (“A Thousand Stings”) with sisterhood at its center. Holladay tells stories of lives shaped by migrations, yearning and the long shadows of myth, crafted with “subtle humor, a stunning sense of place, and an unerring eye for character.” Kirkus Reviews says about “Brides in the Sky”: “In unsentimental but intimate detail, a collection of stories peels back stereotypes about the lives of women in the past. … In spare but evocative prose, Holladay skillfully and subtly re-creates those earlier times while making clear their parallels to the present … Women and girls often overlooked by history are given compelling voices in this collection.”

Best American Short Stories has short-listed six of her stories. One of her flash fictions was nominated by Four Way Review for Best of the Net 2020, and she won an O. Henry Prize for “Merry-Go-Sorry,” a story about the West Memphis Three. Holladay has received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

A native of Virginia, Holladay earned her baccalaureate degree from the College of William and Mary and her master’s degree from Penn State. While at Penn State, Holladay studied fiction writing with novelists Robert C.S. Downs, Thomas Rogers, and Paul West, and poetry with John Balaban and John Haag.

She served for many years as director of the creative writing program at the University of Memphis and is currently a core faculty member in the low-residency master of fine arts program at Converse College.

The Fisher Family Writer-in-Residence is sponsored by Steven Fisher, a 1970 alumnus in English, and also receives generous support from the Joseph L. Grucci Poetry Endowment, University Libraries, the Department of English, and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Those interested in attending Holladay’s reading can click here to join via Zoom.

  • Holladay_Brides_in_the_Sky

    "Brides in the Sky: Stories and a Novella" (2019), the latest work written by Penn State alumna Cary Holladay.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 17, 2021