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W.W. Norton Releases Debut Novel by Boise State MFA Graduate Meghan Kenny

By: Anna Webb   Published 2:30 pm / February 12, 2018

Meghan Kenny is a member of the first graduating class of Boise State’s MFA program in Creative Writing. W.W. Norton and Co. has published her debut novel, “The Driest Season.” The novel is based on her award-winning short story of the same title, and has been named one of “six debut novels to watch for in 2018” by Barnes and Noble.

Set in Wisconsin during World War II, the book tells the story of 15-year-old Cielle, who is enduring a personal calamity while a war wages elsewhere. On a summer afternoon, she finds her father hanging in the barn – and a dark secret begins to unravel, threatening her family’s livelihood.

Head shot of Meghan Kenny

Kirkus gave “The Driest Season” a starred review, calling it, “[An] impressive debut novel … Kenny’s thoughtful, finely crafted work is an eloquent reminder that the breadth of a world matters less than the depth of a character.”

Elliot Holt, author of the novel “You Are One of Them,” writes that the book is, “An elegant coming-of-age story that brings real heart to the American heartland. The book may be set during World War II, but the questions it asks ― about love, loyalty, and the meaning of life ― are timeless ones.”

Kenny received her bachelor of arts in English and creative writing from Kenyon College before attending Boise State’s graduate writing program. She currently teaches at Lancaster Country Day School in Pennsylvania, and will be teaching a contemporary American writers course at Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Writing Program in the fall of 2018.

Her stories have appeared in literary journals including The Gettysburg Review, Cincinnati Review, Hobart, and The Kenyon Review. She received the 2005 Iowa Review Award for her story, “The Driest Season,” which was a Pushcart Prize Special Mention. Her story “Heartbreak Hotel” won second place in Glimmer Train’s 2012 Fiction Open. LSU Press published her short story collection, “Love Is No Small Thing,” in 2017.

The MFA Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University offers degree tracks in fiction and poetry, emphasizing the art and craft of literary writing. Learn more about the program online at english.boisestate.edu.