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june, 2020

10jun7:00 pm8:00 pmVirtual Book Club with Karen Salyer McElmurray '80


Event Details

Join us for a virtual book club facilitated by Dr. Karen Salyer McElmurray ’80, former Distinguished Alumna recipient teacher and author of the new novel Wanting Radiance on Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m.

We will be discussing Dr. McElmurray’s latest novel, Wanting Radiance, which follows Miracelle Loving’s unexpected journey after the murder of her mother, Ruby, during a fortune-telling session gone wrong. Uncertain of what she wants and, indeed, whether she wants anything or anyone at all, the now thirty-something-year-old finds herself working as a card reader in a Knoxville dive bar, selling fictions as futures, when she is confronted with her mother’s ghost voice promising to reveal the truth about her shadowy past.

To join the conversation on June 10, please register at All registrants will be provided a Zoom link in advance of the discussion. Contact with questions or for assistance with the online registration.

A Bit More About Dr. McElmurray and Wanting Radiance:
Dr. Karen McElmurray writes both fiction and creative nonfiction. Her memoir, Surrendered Child, won the AWP Award Series for Creative Nonfiction and was listed as a “notable book” by the National Book Critics Circle. She is also the author of Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick from Oxford American, and a Lit Life Book of the Year. Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven (University of Georgia Press), a novel that won the Lillie Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing and, most recently, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, co-edited with Adrian Blevins, from Ohio University Press. Her essays have won the Annie Dillard Prize, the New Southerner Prize, the Orison Magazine Anthology Award and have several times been Notable in Best American Essays. A collection of her essays is forthcoming from Iris Books. Her newest book, a novel called Wanting Radiance, was released in April 2020 from University Press of Kentucky. Read more about Karen.

In Wanting Radiance Miracelle Loving’s world comes crashing down when her mother, Ruby, is murdered during a fortune-telling session gone wrong. Not that she had much of a stable world to lose in the first place; the free-spirited mother-daughter duo had never remained in one place for very long. Without the guidance of her mother, Miracelle grows up following the only path she knows, traveling from town to town, sometimes fortune-telling, picking up odd jobs to fill the time and escape the ever-present lostness she can’t seem to run far enough away from.


(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Online Event


Berea College

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