Award-winning novelist Katy Yocom will read an excerpt from her work next week at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.
The reading, which is part of the university’s Spectrum arts series, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on September 29 in the hall of Mukaiyama University. Reading is free and open to the public, but those in attendance are required to wear face covers in accordance with the university’s COVID-19 safety precautions.
Yocum’s first novel, “Three Ways to Disappear,” was published in 2019 and won the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature.
The novel follows Sarah DeVaughn, who leaves behind a nomadic and dangerous career as a journalist to return to India, the country of her childhood and a place of unspeakable family tragedy, to help preserve the endangered Bengal tigers. Meanwhile, at her home in Kentucky, her sister Quinn – also deeply affected by the past and herself a keeper of secrets – tries to support her sister, even though she fears India is losing Sarah.
As Sarah faces challenges abroad, including complex local politics and forbidden love, Quinn faces the fatal illness of her son and her own increasingly troubled marriage. When Sarah asks Quinn to join her in India, Quinn realizes that the only way to overcome the past is to come back to it, and it is in this place of stunning natural beauty and hidden danger that the sisters can finally understand how their family has disappeared – from their shared history, from each other – and recognize that they may need to risk everything to find each other.
“Katy is an engaging speaker with an inspiring spirit of adventure and activism that shines through her writings on travel and endangered species,” said Professor of Writing Dr. Nancy McCabe. “But at the center of her work are characters that everyone will relate to.”
Yokom was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas. After earning a journalism degree from the University of Kansas, she moved to Louisville, Ky., Where she has lived ever since.
To research the novel, she traveled to India, funded by a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.
His writings have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, LitHub, American Way (American Airlines magazine), The Louisville Review and elsewhere. His short fiction film was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville.