Alumni reading with Rebecca Bernard and Kim Garza
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
University Union 382
Books will be available for sale at the reading.
Rebecca Bernard's debut collection of stories, Our Sister Who Will Not Die, won the 2021 Non/Fiction prize from The Journal and was published by Mad Creek Books (Ohio State) in August 2022. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwest Review, Wigleaf, Witness, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Fiction from the University of North Texas and an MFA from Vanderbilt University. Her work received notable mention in the Best American Short Stories of 2018. She is an Assistant Professor in the English department at Angelo State University and serves as a Fiction Editor for The Boiler.
A man recently released from prison returns to the dating scene and struggles to find the right time to reveal his long-past murder conviction. A grieving mother considers her own role in her son's death. A boy enables the destructive addiction of the person he's in love with. A dog, witness to his owner's violent acts, begins to sweat. Each story in Rebecca Bernard's Our Sister Who Will Not Die brings the reader face to face with the frailties of human character--and demonstrates how the yearning for love and connection allows beauty and resilience to emerge from darkness. In questioning traditional formulations of good and evil, Bernard's stories ask us to recognize our own culpabilities and acknowledge our shared humanity. None of us is the worst thing we've ever done, these stories compel us to believe. Hope is always worth letting in.
North Texan: https://northtexan.unt.edu/node/23757/
Kimberly Garza is the author of the novel The Last Karankawas (August 2022, Henry Holt). She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas, where she earned a Ph.D. in 2019. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Creative Nonfiction, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. A native Texan--born in Galveston, raised in Uvalde--she is an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
A popular tourist destination and major shipping port, Galveston attracts millions of visitors each year. Yet of those who come to drink by the beach, few stray from the boulevards to Fish Village, the neighborhood home to individuals who for generations have powered the island.
Carly Castillo has only ever known Fish Village. Her grandmother claims that they descend from the Karankawas, an extinct indigenous Texan tribe, thereby tethering them to Galveston. But as Carly ages, she begins to imagine a life elsewhere, undefined by her family's history. Meanwhile, her boyfriend and all-star shortstop turned seaman, Jess, treasures the salty, familiar air. He's gotten chances to leave Galveston for bigger cities with more possibilities. But he didn't take them then, and he sure as hell won't now. When word spreads of a storm gathering strength offshore, building into Hurricane Ike, each Galveston resident must make a difficult decision: board up the windows and hunker down or flee inland and abandon their hard-won homes.
Moving through these characters' lives and those of the extraordinary individuals who circle them, Kimberly Garza's The Last Karankawas weaves together a multitude of voices to present a lyrical, emotionally charged portrait of everyday survival. The result is an unforgettable exploration of familial inheritance, human resilience, and the histories we assign to ourselves, reminding us that the deepest bonds are forged not by blood, but by fire.
This event will take place on the third floor of the University Union
University Union floor plan here
Campus parking map here