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Lola Ridge, modernist poetry, 20th century literature,New Zealand lit, female journalists in WWII, 1920 anarchist in NY, postwar Japan
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About Me

“Terese Svoboda is one of those writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre.”–Bloomsbury Review. She has published 21 books of fiction, poetry, memoir, biography, and a book of translation from the Nuer. Roxy and Coco, her eighth book of fiction, and The Lost Swim, her third collection, will be published in 2024. Hitler and My Mother-in-Law, her second memoir, will be published in 2025. Theatrix: Poetry Plays (Anhinga Press)  is her most recent book of poetry. Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet (biography) was reissued in paper in 2018. Winner of a Guggenheim, a Bobst Prize in fiction, an Iowa Prize for poetry, a NEH grant for translation, an O. Henry Award for the short story, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, 3 NYFA fellowships, a Pushcart Prize for the essay, a Bellagio residency for a libretto, and the Jerome Foundation Award in video, she also wrote the libretto for the opera WET that premiered at L.A.’s RedCat Theater. In a starred review, Kirkus writes: “[Svoboda’s] enigmatic sentences, elliptical narratives, and percussive plots delve into the possibilities of form, genre, and plausible futures, but always with an eye on the vast subterranean psychologies of her all-too-real creations.” She writes a bi-monthly column for 3 Quarks Daily.

Recent Publications

The Long Swim (stories) Juniper Prize, U. of Massachusetts Press, forthcoming, March 2024. “This new collection is a lightning storm, revelatory and galvanic–I love The Long Swim, and Svoboda’s crackling, hilarious, gorgeous prose-music. – Karen Russell. Terese Svoboda is a master of the dire and the blackly comic and a virtuoso of economy and voice” – Jim Shepard.

Roxy and Coco (novel), West Virginia University Press, forthcoming February 2024. “Rarely has fantastic fiction managed to say so much so deftly about the real while still offering a terrific, strange and highly original read.” Brian Evenson. “There are many mythic reimaginings out there, but I can guarantee you that “Roxy and Coco” is unlike anything you’ve read–Terese Svoboda’s harpies are winged avengers, a celestial task force who save kids who have been abused by their terrestrial protectors.” – Karen Russell.

Anything That Burns You: Lola Ridge, Radical Poet (biography) Schaffner Press, 2016. Paper, 2018.No one who cares about American culture will want to miss this book.”Cary Nelson, Editor of Anthology of American Poetry (Oxford, 2014). Magisterial” – Washington Post. “One of her strongest assets is the ability to orient the reader within a constellation of what others might consider irreconcilable identities: Irish, Australasian, immigrant, American, radical, mother, lover, formalist, avant-garde modernist, hostess, editor, poet.” – Joshua Wall, Journal of American Modernism. Shortlisted for the May Sarton Award.

Bohemian Girl (novel) Bison Books, U. of Nebraska Press, 2011. “She will, of course, compared to Willa Cather – and deservedly so.” – Kurt Andersen. Starred Booklist. Brooklyn Book Festival, L.A. Festival of the Book, Printer’s Row in Chicago. Finalist for Foreword’s Historical Book of the Year. One of 10 Best Westerns 2012 – Booklist.

Black Glasses Like Clark Kent (memoir), Graywolf Press, 2008. Excerpts on National Book Critic Circle’s blog, Critical Mass. “A powerful memoir-turned-political exposé.” – Publishers Weekly. “Astounding!” – NY Post. Foreword, NY Times, “Best of 2008″ Asia feature, Japan Times. “Such is the honesty, humor and literary skill of Terese Svoboda that she manages to turn this sad story into a triumph of compassion and insight.” – Philip Lopate. Japanese edition, 2011. Podcast LOVE + RADIO, 13 July 2019.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Africa, Japan, North America
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Holocaust & Nazi Persecution, Literary History, Military, Sexual Violence, Women, World War II