This week, meet Sonja Livingston, whose first book, the memoir Ghostbread, won an AWP Book Prize for Nonfiction and has been adopted for use by classrooms around the nation. She is also the author of Queen of the Fall: A Memoir of Girls and Goddesses, and her most recent book, Ladies Night at the Dreamland, was published by University of Georgia Press in March 2016. Sonja’s writing has been honored with a NYFA Fellowship, an Iowa Review Award, and an Arts & Letters Essay Prize, as well as grants from Vermont Studio Center and the Deming Fund for Women.
Her work has appeared in many literary journals including the Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southeast Review, Brevity, and AGNI online, and is anthologized in several texts on writing, including Short Takes, The Truth of the Matter, The Curious Writer, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction.
An assistant professor in the MFA Program at the University of Memphis, Sonja is married to the artist Jim Mott and divides her time between Tennessee and New York State.
Buy Sonja’s Beautiful Books:
Ladies Night at the Dreamland
Queen of the Fall
Praise for Ladies Night at the Dreamland
A vibrant and textured creation of women throughout history, some of them famous, others notable for the bravery of their more private lives. Line by line, the writing sings. What a marvelous collection of essays. What a glorious celebration. (Lee Martin author of The Bright Forever)
A swirling, wise dream of a book, filled with gorgeous writing and a poignant crowd of characters, rescued from the stream of history with ardent insight. (Harriet Scott Chessman author of The Beauty of Ordinary Things)
These essays―sometimes charming, sometimes searing, always revealing―investigate history, gender, and the bittersweet stories of those often veiled or suppressed. Livingston writes with a gentle and inquiring spirit, a keen intellect, and a deeply compelling lyrical voice. (Kristen Iversen author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats)
Radiant essays inspired by ‘slivers and bits’ of real women’s lives. . . . The author calls her startlingly original essays literary nonfiction, but some read more like historical fiction, spun as they are from documented sources; and some―a brief evocation of Virginia Dare, for example―read like lyrical prose poems. . . . Wise, fresh, captivating essays. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
What’s remarkable about [Livingston’s] latest work is how she’s captured the ability to sustain engaging narratives through such vividly reflexive poetic prose. (Hans Rollman PopMatters)
More From Sonja Online
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