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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PITT-BRADFORD WRITING PROFESSOR HAS ESSAY SELECTED AS AMONG ‘BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS’

PITT-BRADFORD WRITING PROFESSOR HAS ESSAY SELECTED AS AMONG ‘BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS’

BRADFORD, Pa. – An essay written by Dr. Nancy McCabe, associate professor of writing, was among those chosen for the Best American Essays 2009 notable list.

“Every year editor Robert Atwan and other editors and readers cull through thousands of essays published during the last year and narrow the pool down to a notable list of about 100 essays,” McCabe explained.

Some of those essays are then selected to be reprinted in the collection.

“While it didn’t get a reprint, my essay made the list,” said McCabe, who directs the writing program at Pitt-Bradford. “It’s exciting to be in the company of writers like Michael Chabon, Julia Glass, Zadie Smith, David Sedaris and others.”

McCabe’s essay, “Running Away from Home,” first appeared in the Louisville Review in 2008.

“It’s about my first few winters in Bradford, when I was still a relatively new parent and a bit overwhelmed by responsibility and snow,” said McCabe, who came to Pitt-Bradford in 2001. “It weaves in a story about a time that my daughter decided she was going to go live in the woods, and through the two different story strands, the essay examines the conflicting human desire to both put down roots and to be free as well as simultaneous fears we all have of being abandoned or smothered by the people we love.”

McCabe also had essays appear on the notable list in 1999 and 2000.

McCabe has published two books of creative nonfiction, “After the Flashlight Man: A Memoir of Awakening” and “Meeting Sophie: A Memoir of Adoption,” and has recently finished draft manuscripts for two new books, “Looking for Laura: Revisiting the Literature of Childhood and the Places That Inspired It” and “Homeland: Returning to my Daughter’s Birthplace in China.” Her work has appeared in literary journals and mainstream media, and she has won several awards, including a Pushcart Prize for memoir.

In addition to her teaching at Pitt-Bradford, McCabe teaches in the brief-residency master of fine arts program in creative writing at Spalding University.

She and her daughter, Sophie, live in Bradford.

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