First Hearings: Mary Helen Specht

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First Hearings: Mary Helen Specht

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Charles Dee Mitchell curates and hosts the series First Hearings. Meet authors. Hear them read. Buy their books. Get their autographs. (And the bar will be open for business.) Mary Helen Specht was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She has a B.A. in English from Rice University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College, where she won the department’s fiction award. Her writing has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and has appeared in numerous publications, including: The New York Times; The Colorado Review; Prairie Schooner; Michigan Quarterly Review; The Southwest Review; Florida Review; Southwestern American Literature; World Literature Today; Blue Mesa; Hunger Mountain; Bookslut; The Texas Observer; and Night Train, where she won the Richard Yates Short Story Award. A past Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria and Dobie-Paisano Writing Fellow, Specht teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. “An ambitious, highly accomplished debut. . . . Specht moves among a deep cast of characters and corresponding perspectives with absolute mastery. . . . Most important, and impressive, is Specht’s sure handling of the interior life.” Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

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