Megan Kruse: Call Me Home

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Produced by: 
KBOO
Air date: 
Thu, 03/12/2015 - 11:00am to 11:30am
Megan Kruse: Call Me Home. Debut novel published by Portland-based Hawthorne Books

Between the Covers welcomes Pacific Northwest writer, Megan Kruse.  Her debut novel, Call Me Home, delineates what occurs within a nuclear family with an abusive father.  How domestic violence can draw a brother and sister closer than twins, compell a daughter to make a glass sandwich for her dad, cause a son to betray his mom for his father's approval, and a mother blame herself for it all.  The freedom and isolation of the American West is dangerous country for abused women, gay sons and emerging daughters.  Violence looms like clouds.  They keep their secrets and wait, for what feels like a lifetime, for their one chance to be free.
 
"Call Me Home braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at nineteen to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents’ abusive relationship. When Amy is forced to bargain for the safety of one child over the other, she must retrace the steps in the life she has chosen. Jackson, eighteen and made visible by his sexuality, leaves home and eventually finds work on a construction crew in the Idaho mountains, where he begins a potentially ruinous affair with Don, the married foreman of his crew. Lydia, his twelve-year-old sister, returns with her mother to Texas, struggling to understand what she perceives to be her mother’s selfishness. At its heart, this is a novel about family, our choices and how we come to live with them, what it means to be queer in the rural West, and the changing idea of home."

Megan Kruse is a fiction and creative nonfiction writer from the Pacific Northwest. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana, where she was awarded a Bertha Morton scholarship. Her creative writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine, The Sun, Witness Magazine, Thumbnail Magazine, Bellingham Review, and Phoebe, among others.

Kruse’s short story, “Dollywood,” which originally appeared in Witness Magazine, is one of 100 Other Distinguished Stories listed in Best American Short Stories 2011, edited by Geraldine Brooks. “Lila” appeared in Portland Noir, an anthology from Akashic Books (2009), and is currently being developed as an independent, feature-length film. Her essay, “The Trailer,” was published in Portland Queer: Tales from the Rose City (2009), which won a 2010 Lambda Award for queer literature. Her nonfiction essay “Ballads” won the Bellingham Review’s Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2007.

Kruse has received residency grants from the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center in Nebraska City, NE (2004, 2012), the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in New York Mills, MN (2012), and the Ragdale Foundation of Lake Forest, IL (2005). In 2005 she was the recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts fellowship, and she received nominations for the Pushcart Prize in 2005, 2006, and 2011. Call Me Home  is her first novel.

Leigh Anne Kranz hosts.

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