English professor publishes first novel

laura longDr. Laura Long’s first novel, Out of Peel Tree, has been published by West Virginia University Press. A poet and Geraldine Lyon Owen Professor of English, Dr. Long has received early praise for the work. The novel reveals the lives of a far-flung contemporary family through a web of delicate turning points.  

Foreword Reviews states, “This kind of layered writing creates the feeling that every word is important.” The book has received advance praise from many award-winning authors. Daphne Kalotay describes the novel as “alive with the enchantments of language and perception.” David Huddle notes the novel has “gorgeous writing and deeply compelling characters . . . it brilliantly offers a new vision and shines a light on the path ahead.” Ann Pancake writes that the book is “vivid, sonorous, and wise.” See more at WVU Press.

Dr. Long’s  chapbook of poems The Eye of Caroline Herschel: A Life in Poems, was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the Pushcart Prize Editorial Board, and noted on two blogs about math and science, including, on March 29, “Cocktail Party Physics” a weekly blog sponsored by Scientific American.

Anative of Buckhannon, W.Va., Dr. Long has received a James Michener Fellowship, James River Writers Award, Donald Barthelme Fellowship, PEN-Texas Award, Virginia Center for Creative Arts fellowships, and has published in magazines including The Southern Review and Shenandoah. She is the author of two books of poems: Imagine a Door and The Eye of Caroline Herschel: A Life in Poems. Prior to coming to Lynchburg College, she taught in numerous community and university settings in Austin, Houston, and far west Texas. She will teach at the low-residency master of fine arts program at West Virginia Wesleyan College during the summer of 2014. She lives in Charlottesville, Va.

 Listen to her interview on WV public radio.