WUSTL alumna Finneran to read from ‘Tender Land’

Washington University alumna Kathleen Finneran, author of the memoir “The Tender Land: A Family Love Story” (2003), will read from her work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in Duncker Hall, Room 201, Hurst Lounge.

The talk, part of The Writing Program in Arts & Sciences’ fall Reading Series, is free and open to the public.

A love story unlike any other, “The Tender Land” recounts Finneran’s painful coming of age as well as her family’s tragic history. Despite a recurring strain of depressive mental illness, the Finnerans — parents and five children — are a seemingly ordinary suburban clan, yet their lives are forever altered by the suicide of Finneran’s 15-year-old brother, Sean.

“‘The Tender Land’ reminds us of how complicated, unique and fragile an organism the family is,” notes the Boston Globe, while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch praises the book as “beautifully written … Like life itself, this memoir evokes both sadness and joy.”

Finneran, a writer-in-residence in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences, has published essays in the anthologies “The Place That Holds Our History,” “Seeking St Louis: Voices From a River City” and “The ‘M’ Word: Writers Writing on Same-Sex Marriage.”

She is the recipient of a Missouri Arts Council Writers’ Biennial Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award in nonfiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

For more information, call 935-7130 or e-mail dschuman@wustl.edu.