Meet Susan Koefod, author of YA fantasy NAMING THE STARS
September 17 at Subtext books, 6 West Fifth Street, St. Paul Minnesota 55102 | Event Page
24 September at Chapter2Books, 226 Locust Street, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016 | Event Page
16-year-old Mary-Louise comes home from swimming lessons one day to find she is absent from family photographs, her bedroom has turned into a linen closet, and all of her possessions have disappeared. More troubling, her family goes on as if she never existed. The only person in town who can actually see her is a boy she calls Fish, a YMCA swimming instructor, but Fish is hiding from a troubled past and the person he sees is entirely different from who she thought she was.
The girl he sees is entirely different from the insecure, unattractive girl Mary-Louise thinks of herself. The teens discover the photo of a spirited, beautiful young woman photographed many years before—Pearl—who exactly resembles the girl Fish sees. The truth about Pearl’s identity is the key to discovering why Mary-Louise has disappeared and why Fish left home, but his fears of being discovered are preventing him from helping Mary-Louise, after all, no one can see or hear her.
This coming-of-age story explores the important and often fragile connection between the roles we play in others’ lives—as siblings, children, friends, and partners—and the unique identity we must find in ourselves.
A native Minnesotan, Susan Koefod spent much of her girlhood taking long bicycle rides and walks through hilly Dakota County and along the beautiful Mississippi River valley that shapes the state’s southeastern border. Such excursions typically filled her imagination with poetry and story ideas. In fact, she invariably thought of herself in the third person, and she fictionalized herself in her early stories, but she relegated herself to the background as she could always invent more interesting characters to play the starring roles.
Susan Koefod is an award-winning novelist. Her Arvo Thorson mystery series was praised by Library Journal as “a smashing debut with astute observations and gorgeous prose.” She has also widely published prose and poetry, including placing short stories in national magazines and anthologies. NAMING THE STARS (Curiosity Quills Press, September 2016) is her young adult debut.
She is a recent recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers, administered by the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Five $25,000 awards are presented annually to accomplished Minnesota writers and spoken word artists. She holds an M.F.A. in writing from Hamline University, and lives with her family in West St. Paul, Minnesota.