Kelly Link to Read at Washington University March 21 and 28

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The super-cool and widely admired short-story writer Kelly Link is visiting Washington University as a Hurst Professor and will be presenting two events there: a reading on Thursday, March 21 and a talk on the craft of fiction, March 28.

Link belongs to the exciting and growing group of literary writers who find vitality in the forms of genre fiction. The only story I had immediate access to today is her remarkable spin on the haunted-house tale (and the chaos of family life), “Stone Animals,” which features spooked appliances, an armadillo handbag, and a memorable cat named King Spanky. That said, both of her adult collections, Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners, make for infectious, transformational reading. She’s also the author of a young adult collection, Pretty Monsters, and the co-publisher of Small Beer Press.

Here’s Link’s sublimely creepy description of an office manager’s rubber band ball, from “Stone Animals”:

“It took up half of her desk. Under the fluorescent office lights it had a peeled red liveliness. You almost expected it to shoot forward and out the door. The larger it got the more it looked like some kind of eyeless, hairless, legless animal.”

Both events are at 8:00 at Duncker Hall on the Washington University campus, followed by a book signing and reception.

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