MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Kelly Barnhill biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill Biography

Kelly Barnhill lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. She is the author of four novels, most recently The Girl Who Drank the Moon, winner of the Newbery Medal. The Witch's Boy received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the Min­nesota Book Awards. Kelly Barnhill has been awarded writing fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the McKnight Foundation.

Kelly Barnhill's website

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Interview

In a spirited interview with author John Brown, Kelly Barnhill talks about her debut novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack, and tells readers what keeps her coming back to the page.

I have to start by saying I love the title of your book. It raises all sorts of questions in my mind. Was that part of the inspiration of the story or was it something you had to arrive at after a lot of hard work?

On the first question: Oh my. Titles. This title is the culmination of a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Okay, that's not entirely true. Neither blood nor sweat, just tears - mine specifically. This book was originally called The Boy Without A Face, then Jack Be Quick, then The Curious Face in the Cornfield, then Uprooted, then the House at the Far Edge of Town, then the A Child of Earth and Magic, then... oh lord, I can hardly remember.

The thing is, I typically don't have a problem naming pieces. The title usually comes when I've untangled the first knot of text and the beating heart of the story is just starting to assert itself. This time, not so much. I was stymied from the beginning. I asked my kids their opinions, my agent, my agent's assistant, every editor I've ever heard of. I asked my students, my Sunday School kids, kids on the block, kids at the park.

But that's the thing when you have a title that doesn't work - no amount of wanting it to be right will make it right. So I was bound to ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Kelly Barnhill at BookBrowse
Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories jacket The Girl Who Drank the Moon jacket The Mostly True Story of Jack jacket
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