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Author shares work at SMC

| Friday, April 8, 2016

Saint Mary’s hosted author Karen Lee Boren on Thursday for a reading and signing of her recently-released collection of short stories, “Mother Tongue.”

“‘[Mother Tongue]’ is a book of hope in that it is a sort of literary Cinderella story,” Boren said. “It renewed my belief in literary humanity.”

Boren said this novel was submitted to New Waters Press 10 years after submitting it to the Headwaters Literary Competition. She said the original reader of her work for the competition submitted an updated copy without telling Boren.

“Out of the blue, I got a New Press e-mail that said [they wanted] to publish [my] book.” Boren said. “Fairy tales do come true.”

Boren said the meaning of a written work lasts longer than most writers think.

“We are always looking for the next sentence, the next word, the next theme, the next idea,” she said. “It’s surprising how many of the themes stay with me from when I was writing in my twenties.”

Boren said she used inspiration from her life growing up in Milwaukee.

“I draw from real life as much as I need to,” she said. “Usually more than I think at the time.”

Dionne Bremyer, Saint Mary’s associate professor of English, met Boren while studying at Rhode Island College and said they have maintained their friendship over the years.

“My admiration for her has grown every day since I’ve come to understand how amazingly good she is — as a teacher, as a writer, as human being,” Bremyer said.

Boren said this is the second time the College has invited her on campus. Boren also visited the college after the publication of her novella, “Girls in Peril.”

“It is … my pleasure to see [Bremyer] in her environment.” Boren said. “My mother had six kids and she told us all we were her favorite. Unlike her, I’m going to be honest and say that [Bremyer] has always been my favorite.”

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