Mary Sojourner

Contributor

Mary Sojourner is the author of three novels: Sisters of the Dream Northland Publishers, 1989; Going Through Ghosts, University of Nevada Press, 2010 and 29, Torrey House Press, 2014; the short story collection, Delicate, Nevermore Press, 2001 and Scribner, 2004; essay collection, Bonelight: ruin and grace in the New Southwest University of Nevada Press, 2002 and 2004; memoir, Solace: rituals of loss and desire, Scribner, 2004;  and memoir/self-help guide, She Bets Her Life, Seal Press, 2010. She has been a ten-year NPR commentator and now reviews books for KNAU’s Southwest Book Reviews. She’s the author of op eds and columns for High Country News, Yoga Journal, Writers on the Range, Matador Network and dozens of other publications. She was chosen as a Distinguished Writer in Residence in 2007 by the Virginia C. Piper Center for Creative Writing, ASU.

She has been a community and environmental activist and organizer since she was seventeen; and teaches writing - in private circles, one-on-one, at writing conferences and book festivals, and for Matador U, an international travel writing program. She believes in both the limitations and possibilities of healing. Writing is the most powerful tool she has found for doing what is necessary to mend - oneself and the greater world.

What does it mean to have a voice? That’s the question Terry Tempest Williams tries to answer in her illuminating book, ‘When Women Were Birds’. It begins with the shock of discovering that the journals her mother kept until her death were completely empty. Williams had to find her own voice to deal with the loss. In KNAU’s latest Southwest Book Review, Mary Sojourner reflects on process of finding one’s authentic voice.


Horace Hopper is the feisty protagonist in Willy Vlautin’s latest novel "Don’t Skip Out on Me." Horace is a former foster kid with an identity crisis, half-Paiute, half-Irish, raised in Nevada by aging sheep ranchers, with dreams of being a championship boxer. To reinvent himself, Horace leaves the safety of his foster parents for the streets of Tucson and Las Vegas, but learns he can’t outrun his past or his destiny. Mary Sojourner has more in KNAU’s latest Southwest Book Review.


Award-winning journalist Jessica Bruder went on the road to write her latest book "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century." She chronicles the lives of older Americans living in campers and vans, trying to stay afloat after job loss, health problems and a deteriorating American Dream. Bruder is a pro at writing about the dark underbelly of the nation’s economy and the subcultures of people affected. "Nomadland" is the focus of this month’s Southwest Book Review by Mary Sojourner.


Prospero Stark was once a baseball phenom. But after a stint in jail, he changed his pace, opting to live in an airstream trailer park in the Arizona desert. It’s there that he receives a gruesome package … the severed hand of his former catcher. This is the jumping off point for Leo Banks’ novel, "Double Wide," the focus of this month’s Southwest Book Review. KNAU’s Mary Sojourner has more. 

“Abracadabra” is the latest novel by Southwestern writer David Kranes. Set in Las Vegas in the noir tradition of writing, the story begins with the mysterious magic show disappearance of an unassuming character named Mark Goodson. From there, the plot unfolds in twists and turns, mistaken identities, celebrity impersonators and all around chaos. “Abracadabra” is the focus of this month’s Southwest Book Review by Mary Sojourner.


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