Prof. Kathryn Rhett’s nonfiction manuscript Souvenir book is scheduled to be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in the fall of 2014.
Souvenir, a collection of autobiographical essays rooted in the present, investigates travel, staying put, and how it is that our experience of being here right now includes so much of being elsewhere at another time. How is it that getting blood drawn, egg-sitting the third grade science project, or searching for a missing uncle summons to mind whole personal or public histories? Rhett reconciles present to past in serious encounters with birth and death, alongside lighter observations. In a world that makes little sense except the sense we make of it, Souvenir plays with the dynamics of home and away, present and past, memory and story.
Read two reviews below:
"Souvenir by Kathryn Rhett is a wonderful collection of travel essays, and it is also a wonderful collection of essays about the domestic. And it is a wonderful personal memoir. I'd admire it alone for the ways Rhett plays easily and fluidly with different genres and styles of nonfiction writing, and the way she doesn't waver or lose her wit on deep matters. Its true strength, though, is that Souvenir is really beautifully written-- sentence by sentence, page by page, there's so much pleasure to be had from its sound sense and descriptive precision that you could almost read it like poetry."--Andrew Levy, author of A Brain Wider than the Sky: A Migraine Diary and The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves
“In Kathryn Rhett’s elegant and perceptive Souvenir, a self-described “serial nester” leaves on journeys real and imagined, guiding her lucky readers through landscapes as inviting as her essays. Whether traveling by land, sea, air, or Suburu, or into a past that “never leaves you,” the destination is the same: the rich, varied terrain of the human heart.” --Rebecca McClanahan, author of The Tribal Knot and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings
About Kathryn Rhett
Rhett moved to Gettysburg in 1997 to work for Gettysburg College, attracted by the renowned Gettysburg Review, and the opportunity to share a job.
Rhett went to college at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Humanities, and returned there for an MA in The Writing Seminars, in poetry; staying on for another year as a postgraduate fellow, she taught her first nonfiction class, in writers’ diaries. Rhett earned an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and started teaching in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, which she continues to do.
Rhett's first book, Near Breathing, was selected by Lee Gutkind for the Emerging Writers of Nonfiction series at Duquesne University Press. It was about the birth and near-death of her daughter, and represented her first attempts at writing nonfiction. Rhett edited an anthology, Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis, which grew out of her memoir workshop teaching at Iowa. Currently Rhett lectures and teaches workshops on crisis writing, and also teaches in the Queen University of Charlotte’s low-residency MFA program.