BRADFORD – Award-winning novelist Katy Yocom will read from her work next week at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.
The reading, which is part of the university’s Spectrum art series, will take place on September 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room. The reading is free and open to the public, but attendees must wear face-covering as per the university’s COVID-19 safety precautions.
Yocum’s debut 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 a nomadic and dangerous career as a journalist to return to India, the land of her childhood and a place of unspeakable family tragedy, to save the endangered Bengal tiger. At home in Kentucky, her sister Quinn – also deeply marked by the past and herself a keeper of secrets – tries to support her sister, even if she fears India will doom Sarah.
While Sarah faces challenges overseas, including complex local politics and a forbidden love, Quinn copes with her son’s life-threatening illness and her own increasingly difficult marriage. When Sarah asks Quinn to join her in India, Quinn realizes that the only way to overcome the past is to return there, family has disappeared – from their shared history, from each other – and realizes that they may have to risk everything to find yourself again.
“Katy is an engaging speaker with an inspiring adventure and activism that can be seen in her articles on travel and endangered species,” said Dr. Nancy McCabe, professor of writing. “But the focus of her work are characters with whom everyone can identify.”
Yokom was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, she moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where she has lived ever since.
She traveled to India to research the novel, funded by a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.
Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, Salon, LitHub, American Way (American Airlines magazine), The Louisville Review, and elsewhere. Her short film was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville.