'Girls in Peril' author returns for reading

3:32:42 PM CDT - Thursday, February 01, 2007

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

More than a dozen years have passed since Karen Boren was last at WSU and in Kansas, but the author of the critically acclaimed novella "Girls in Peril" is looking forward to returning to the place where she says she learned much of her craft.

Boren, who earned the MFA in creative writing from WSU in 1994, plans to read from "Girls in Peril" and possibly her novel-in-progress "Month of Fire" during a Visiting Writer Series reading at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in 203 Rhatigan Student Center. The English department's creative writing program is sponsoring the free, public reading.

Karen Boren
Karen Boren
"I am very much looking forward to returning to WSU because I believe it is (there) that I began to write in earnest and the guidance I received in the MFA program was invaluable to me," said Boren, who gave particular credit to recently retired program director Phil Schneider.

After graduating from WSU, Boren earned her doctorate in English from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her short fiction has appeared in the Florida Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, Dominion Review and elsewhere, and her nonfiction has appeared in Cream City Review and the Lonely Planet anthology "Rite of Passage: Tales of Backpacking 'Round Europe."

"Girls in Peril" was her debut novel. The 150-page novella, which was released last May, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and it also was the debut novel of the New Voices series from the small independent publisher Tin House.

Since the book's release, Boren, who teaches literature and creative writing at Rhode Island College, has been touring the book in the upper Midwest and western Oregon, where Tin House is located, and also doing readings in the New England region. This past fall she was a visiting writer at St. Mary's College in Indiana.

"I have greatly enjoyed the diverse reactions to the book," Boren said.

The book is a coming-of-age story about a group of adolescent girls living in a small Wisconsin town during the 1970s.

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