MSU literary event to feature ‘Strange Weather’

March 27, 2010 8:46:00 PM

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Award-winning Mississippi State University fiction writer Becky Hagenston will read from her new short stories next month on campus.  

 

Titled "Strange Weather" (Press53, 2010), her collection of seven works covers topics from serials killers to Southern ghosts to magical dirt.  

 

Last year, it was honored with the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction by the Eastern Washington University Press.  

 

The free April 15 reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Colvard Student Union''s third-floor Fowlkes Auditorium. Autographed copies of the book will be available for sale.  

 

The associate professor of English said one of her favorites, "Midnight, Licorice, Shadow," features two serial killers who can''t decide what to name their cat.  

 

Others must agree, since "Midnight" was named a "distinguished mystery story" in the anthology "Best American Mysteries 2009."  

 

This second collection of short stories is described by the Maryland native as a blend of literary genres.  

 

"Some of the stories are realism, and others are magical realism," the University of Arizona fine arts alumna observed.  

 

Antonya Nelson, author of "Nothing Right" and "Some Fun" and holder of the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston, describes Hagenston''s style in "Strange Weather" as "curious, clever, quick, hilarious, and heartbreaking."  

 

"The world contained between the covers of ''Strange Weather'' is both realistic and magical, silly and sublime," Nelson said in a review.  

 

Hagenston''s first book "A Gram of Mars," won the Mary McCarthy Prize in short fiction. She also has received an  

 

O. Henry Award, given for short stories of special merit, among other literary honors.  

 

For more information, contact Hagenston at 662-325-3644 or bh133@ra.msstate.edu.