Thursday, May 19, 2016

Karen Halvorsen Schreck

Karen Halvorsen Schreck is the author of the historical novel Sing For Me, which was praised in a Publishers Weekly starred review. She received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and now teaches writing and literature.

Halvorsen Schreck's new novel is Broken Ground.

From the author's Q & A with Jennifer S. Brown at The Debutante Ball:

Talk about one book that made an impact on you.

I had a fabulous mentor in high school—an English teacher called “Mr. M.” Looking back now, I’d have to say he was fearless. By this I mean: he wasn’t afraid to assign books that drew complaints from his students’ parents (this was a small, private, conservative, faith-based school) and got him into hot water with the administration. “You’ve got to look at the world outside of your Evangelical shoebox.” That’s what Mr. M always said. And if we students weren’t inclined to do so on our own, he’d help us along. For instance: the spring of my junior he assigned A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND AND OTHER STORIES, by Flannery O’Connor. We didn’t just read one or two of O’Connor’s grotesque, morbidly funny, revelatory stories. We read the WHOLE DAMN COLLECTION. I became steeped in her graphic, gorgeous, apocalyptic world of peacocks and pigs, bible salesmen and BBQs, Confederate soldiers and serial killers. And let me tell you: the book rocked my world. I had never read anything like it—such twists and turns of plot and meaning, characters almost cartoon-like in their rendering, and yet utterly believable to me. I understood something I’d never even thought about before, concerning diversity in North American literature—O’Conner and her fiction were Southern, no bones about it, and if she was that, down to her very last word in every sentence, that meant that there were others out there who were informed by their place of origin, not to mention their race, class, culture, and religion ... heck, given O’Conner’s painful struggle with lupus, perhaps even their physicality. And she was a woman. She was a woman! Yet she was not afraid to get dirty or be ugly if that’s what her story demanded. After that, I read...[read on]
Visit Karen Halvorsen Schreck's website.

My Book, The Movie: Broken Ground.

Writers Read: Karen Halvorsen Schreck.

The Page 69 Test: Broken Ground.

--Marshal Zeringue