A recently-published book by Dr. Heather Sellers of the Hope College English faculty is being recognized in the "Discover Great New Writers" program of Barnes & Noble bookstores.
Sellers is an associate professor of English at Hope. Her book, "Georgia Under Water," was released in March by Sarabande Books, and is anticipated to appear in Barnes & Noble's forthcoming listing for the summer quarter.
A reception and book signing to celebrate publication of the book will be held in the Kletz in the DeWitt Center on Wednesday, April 25, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The public is invited, and admission is free.
"Georgia Under Water" is a collection of nine linked stories about the struggles and triumphs of Georgia Jackson as she grows up in Florida, always near the ocean or a pool, living in a dysfunctional family, torn between pleasing her parents and saving herself.
"Georgia Jackson is a heroine buoyant in spirit and bitterly cheery in a way that is thrilling," story writer Padgett Powell has said. Author Kim Barnes has called Georgia "a modern-day Huck Finn, traveling the ocean's shore, learning the hard lessons that will both scar her and allow her to survive."
Barnes and Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" program selects approximately 20 books by new writers each quarter and features them through on-line and in-store publicity. Because of the attention the book is expected to receive through this selection, it has already gone into a second printing.
"Georgia Under Water" was also receiving recognition before it was published. In 1999, Sellers received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support her as she completed work on the book. Her NEA award was one of only 41 granted that year to writers creating original work or translating work. She was the only Michigan recipient.
Sellers, who has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1995, has also been the recipient of many other awards and writing residencies. Her work has appeared in "Indiana Review," "New Virginia Review," "The Hawai'i Review," "The Chattahoochee Review," "The Women's Review of Books," "Sonora Review," and many other journals.
Her children's book "Spike and Cubby's Ice Cream Island Adventure" will be published later this year by Henry Holt. She is currently working on a novel, "Frontierland."
Sellers earned her bachelor's, master's and doctorate at Florida State University, in 1985, 1988 and 1992 respectively.