AMY PARKER in conversation with MARCUS BURKE

February 25, 2016 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights

Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Amy Parker will read from her new book of linked short stories Beasts & Children, and talk about her work with fellow Workshop graduate and classmate Marcus Burke. Kirkus Reviews summarizes: “These stories provide a vivid kaleidoscope of narratives. Characters appear as children and then reappear, later in the book, married and with children of their own. Their stories are told and retold from varying perspectives, which provide new insight into their histories in the same way that a mystery can be pieced together from new details. As Parker’s title suggests, animals and children take a central role in the book; in each story, they are the registrars of pain inflicted upon, and by, a grown-up world. This riveting collection executes a grim autopsy on American family life.”

Amy Parker was born in Okinawa, Japan, and spent most of her childhood on diplomatic and military compounds overseas. She attended Indiana University, and won a Michener fellowship in fiction from the University of Texas, Austin. Afterward, she spent four years doing intensive monastic practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and at Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center. She received lay ordination in the Soto Zen lineage in 2007. She left the monastery for the Iowa Writers Workshop, from which she graduated in 2012. She lives in Wichita, Kansas.  

Marcus Burke is the author of Team Seven and lives in Iowa City.