NEWPORT, R.I. – Acclaimed fiction writer Laura van den Berg will read selections from her new short story collection, “The Isle of Youth,” at Salve Regina University on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. Free and open to the public, the reading will be presented in the State Dining Room of Ochre Court, 100 Ochre Point Ave.
Her visit to Salve Regina is being sponsored by the office of Academic Affairs together with the departments of English and Sociology & Anthropology.
Van den Berg’s book, a National Public Radio Best Book of 2013 selection, explores the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. From a newlywed caught in an inscrutable marriage, to private eyes working a baffling case in South Florida, to a teenager who assists her magician mother and steals from the audience, the characters in these bewitching stories are at once vulnerable and dangerous, bighearted and ruthless, and they will do what it takes to survive.
“Wonder and mystery are recurring motifs,” writes Natalie Serber of the New York Times Book Review. “The women here are one step ahead of disaster or one step behind it, and either way they are eager to discover what’s next. Van den Berg, in this wonderful collection, never lets us turn away.”
Van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, “What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us” (Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, longlisted for The Story Prize, and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award.
Published in November 2013, ‘The Isle of Youth,’ (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is Van den Berg’s second collection of stories. She lives in the Boston area and is at work on a novel.