Megan Mayhew Bergman biography

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Megan Mayhew Bergman
Photo: Bo Bergman

Megan Mayhew Bergman

Megan Mayhew Bergman Biography

Megan Mayhew Bergman is the author of three books, Birds of a Lesser Paradise, Almost Famous Women, and How Strange a Season. She is currently writing a book on the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Megan is a journalist, essayist, and critic. She has written columns on climate change and the natural world for the Guardian and the Paris Review. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Orion, and elsewhere. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2011 and 2015, and on NPR's Selected Shorts. She was awarded the Garrett Award for Fiction and the Phil Reed Environmental Writing Award for Journalism, and, previously, fellowships at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the American Library in Paris.

She currently teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College, where she also serves as Director of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference.

Megan Mayhew Bergman's website

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Interview

Megan Mayhew Bergman discusses her debut collection of short stories, Birds of a Lesser Paradise, and reflects on the primal innocence of humanity.

You live with a variety of animals on a small farm in Vermont, and your husband is a veterinarian. How have your interactions with animals informed your writing of these stories?
Interacting with animals draws me into a physical world, which is where I want to be. I've always been an animal person, and my husband is basically an enabler - now I can get access to all the one-eyed cats and neurotic beagles I want. In fact, we kind of maintain a secular, downtrodden version of Noah's ark in our farmhouse. But instead of beautiful beasts, we have decrepit, incontinent dogs, rescue goats, and vicious cats marauding around.

My husband can break my heart any day with shop talk. I spend time in the clinic with him after hours, and when I leave, each patient weighs on me. How did the cat with liver failure end up? What choice did the owner make about the old lab with the lung tumor? There is constant tension in his work, an ethical dilemma around every corner. That, in addition to our emotional investment in companion animals, is the stuff narrative is made of. Love, choice, grief, change.

You're clearly an animal lover, but you also write extensively about the menace of animals - often it can't be helped, it's their nature. Do ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Megan Mayhew Bergman at BookBrowse
How Strange a Season jacket Almost Famous Women jacket Birds of a Lesser Paradise jacket
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