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.

“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.


If you’ve got a reader on your holiday list—including yourself—and you want to go with something local, you might consider the recently released “Journal of Sedona Schnebly.” Told by Schnebly’s great granddaughter, Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, the journal recounts the pioneering family’s arrival in Arizona Territory in 1901. The story chronicles life in Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona and Slide Rock before they became tourist destinations. In KNAU’s latest Southwest Book Review, Mary Sojourner says it will make you fall in love all over again with the beauty of northern Arizona. 


Tomorrow is the Young Readers Festival in Flagstaff, a breakout event of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. One of the headliners is Erin Jade Lange, an award-winning author of contemporary young adult novels. In this month’s Southwest Book Review, Mary Sojourner takes a look at Lange’s latest work, "Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah." It’s a compelling—and frightening—story about friendship, bullying and trust. 


Nearly every day here in the Southwest, we hear tragic stories of human trafficking across the U.S. Mexico border: The lengths people will go to in hopes of a better life in America; paying coyotes large sums of money to hide in vehicles, or hike across the desert. Many don’t make it. That is the storyline of John Vailant’s novel, "The Jaguar’s Children," this month’s Southwest Book Review. In the words of commentator Mary Sojourner, the story tore her heart out.  

Love, physics and the atomic bomb come together in this month’s Southwest Book Review of Nora Gallagher’s novel, Changing Light. The setting is Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1945; the tail end of World War II and the debut of the atomic bomb. Two characters haphazardly find each other: one love sick and one radiation sick. Their bond takes them into passionate—and dangerous—territory. KNAU’s Mary Sojourner has more.


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