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Join us on Thursday April 11 at 7 PM as Katharine Beutner talks about her novel, Killingly. She will be joined in conversation by Andrea Lawlor.
This event will be held in Gamble Auditorium on the Mount Holyoke campus.
Based on the unsolved real-life disappearance of a Mount Holyoke student in 1897—a haunting novel of intrigue, longing, and terror, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt and Sarah Waters
Massachusetts, 1897: Bertha Mellish, “the most peculiar, quiet, reserved girl” at Mount Holyoke College, is missing.
As a search team dredges the pond where Bertha might have drowned, her panicked father and sister arrive desperate to find some clue to her fate or state of mind. Bertha’s best friend, Agnes, a scholarly loner studying medicine, might know the truth, but she is being unhelpfully tightlipped, inciting the suspicions of Bertha’s family, her classmates, and the private investigator hired by the Mellish family doctor. As secrets from Agnes’s and Bertha’s lives come to light, so do the competing agendas driving each person who is searching for Bertha.
Where did Bertha go? Who would want to hurt her? And could she still be alive?
Edmund White Award–winning author Katharine Beutner takes a real-life unsolved mystery and crafts it into an unforgettable historical portrait of academia, family trauma, and the risks faced by women who dared to pursue unconventional paths at the end of the 19th century.
Katharine Beutner is an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; previously, she taught in Ohio and Hawai`i. Her first novel, Alcestis, won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Association’s Lesbian Debut Fiction Award. Her writing has appeared in Tinfish, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, The Toast, TriQuarterly, Humanities, and other publications. She is the editor in chief of The Dodge, a magazine of eco-writing and translation.
Andrea Lawlor teaches creative writing at Mount Holyoke College, is the recipient of a 2020 Whiting Award for Fiction, and has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press), and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl (Vintage/Knopf).
This event is free and open to the public, but let us know you are coming by registering at Eventbrite