A Distinguished Professor of English at Iowa State University, Mary Swander has written several poems, essays, and books, none more profoundly stirring than her personal account of healing after a car accident, The Desert Pilgrim.
Read the interview
Date of Birth:
November 5, 1959
Place of Birth:
B.A., Iowa State University, 1973; M.F.A., Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1976
The Nation-Discovery Award, 1975; The Whiting Award, 1995
|Barnes & Noble Discovers Great New Writers|
|Desert Pilgrim: En Route to Mysticism and Miracles|
The stirring chronicle of Swander's healing and spiritual reawakening after a debilitating car accident caught the eye of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. Our editors declare, "With this poetic look at pain, acceptance, faith, and the unknown, Mary Swander has given readers a real gift."
|In our exclusive interview with Swander, we asked her about her early experiences trying to make it as a writer. "During my first writing workshop I had the honors receiving the most votes for the worst' poem on the worksheet. By the end of the semester I was publishing in small literary magazines."|
|Favorite Writers and Reads||Swander's Reading Recommendations|
|The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)|
Mark Twain, Robert O'Meally (intro.)
Swander told us that Twain's Huckleberry Finn is a lifelong favorite book: "I loved the characters, the dialogue, and the fact that the setting was familiar to me -- the Mississippi River," she reflects. "I realized at a young age that the writer was a midwesterner and that you could write out of your own sense of place."
|The Pond Lovers|
We asked Swander to tell us about some of her favorite reads. She put The Pond Lovers on her list, calling it "a book to read on a lazy summer day watching the ducks float around in the farm pond." Read on to learn more about Swander's reading recommendations, including: