Elizabeth Kadetsky is the author of two books 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)-as well as a memoir (First There Is a Mountain, Little Brown, 2004). She lives in New York City’s East Village and in State College, Pennsylvania, and her works in fiction, memoir, personal and lyric essay, and long form narrative journalism have been published widely.
As a journalist covering Latin America, immigration, and gender, she traveled in Guatemala and Mexico in the 1990s and published many dispatches in venues ranging from Ms. magazine to Self, Glamour, The Nation, and the Village Voice. 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, and a stellar group of classmates including Aimee Bender, Andrew Foster Altschul, Maile Meloy, Alice Sebold, Glen David Gold, Brando Skyhorse, and David Benioff.
While a graduate student at Irvine, she received a Fulbright fellowship to India in creative writing, and there 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, where she is now assistant professor teaching fiction and nonfiction.