Photo by Nina Subin
Elizabeth Kadetsky, winner of the 2019 Juniper Prize in Creative Nonfiction, is the author of The Memory Eaters, a lyric memoir in essays forthcoming from U. Mass Press in April 2020. Her three previous books include two works of fiction—a novella (On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World, Nouvella, 2015) and a story collection (The Poison that Purifies You, C&R Press, 2014)—and a researched memoir set in India (First There Is a Mountain, Little Brown, 2004, and Dzanc Books rEprint Series, 2019). She is the recipient of two Fulbright fellowships to India, the second to Ahmedabad for the 2019–2020 academic year. Her short stories have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best American Short Stories notable stories, and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Guernica, Santa Monica Review, Antioch Review, Post Road, Agni, and elsewhere. Her undergraduate degree, from University of California at Santa Cruz, is in Latin American Studies, while she holds an MS in journalism from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction from UC Irvine. She is currently associate professor of fiction and nonfiction at Penn State a nonfiction editor at New England Review.
Elizabeth’s work is rooted in her travels. She has lived in Malta as a creative writing fellow at the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity; and in Spain and France as a fellow in the arts at Camargo Foundation, Fundación Valparaiso, Fondation La Napoule, and elsewhere. She studied Arabic in Fez, Morocco, and in Cairo as a research scholar at the Center for Forced Migration Studies at American University in Cairo.
As a journalist covering Latin America, immigration, and gender in the 1990s, Elizabeth published immersive journalism in Ms. magazine, Self, Glamour, The Nation, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. Her work included coverage of the underground adoption trade in Guatemala for the Village Voice and the war in Chiapas, Mexico, for The Nation.
After a short stint in a straight job as an editor for Architectural Digest in Condé Nast’s Los Angeles office, she attended the MFA program in fiction at UC Irvine while also completing a three-year yoga teacher training program at the BKS Iyengar Institute of Los Angeles. At Irvine, she worked closely with her mentor, Geoffrey Wolff, author of Duke of Deception. There, she received a Fulbright fellowship to India in creative writing and as a result wrote her first book, published upon her return by Little, Brown.
Working as a freelance copy editor for Details, Rolling Stone, Elle, and New York magazine, she survived financially until gaining her first teaching job, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, on September 14, 2001. She accepted the position while putting the finishing touches on her long essay about visiting the site of the World Trade Center attack, “Morgue Has Moved to Stuyvesant High School,” subsequently published in Santa Monica Review. She later taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, University of Pittsburgh, and Penn State University.
Her experiences as a Fulbright fellow to India in 2000 became the subject of her first memoir, published with Little, Brown in 2004. Her undergraduate degree, from University of California at Santa Cruz, is in Latin American Studies, while she holds an MS in journalism from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction from UC Irvine. She is associate professor of fiction and nonfiction at Penn State.