Beth Kephart biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Beth Kephart
Photo: Mike Matthews

Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart Biography

Beth Kephart is the author of 10 books, including the National Book Award finalist A Slant of Sun; the Book Sense pick Ghosts in the Garden; the autobiography of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River, Flow; the acclaimed business fable Zenobia; and the critically acclaimed novels for young adults, Undercover, House of Dance, and Nothing but Ghosts.

Kephart is a winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Leeway grant, a Pew Fellowships in the Arts grant, and the Speakeasy Poetry Prize, among other honors. Kephart’s essays are frequently anthologized, she has judged numerous competitions, and she has taught workshops at many institutions, to all ages. Kephart teaches the advanced nonfiction workshop at the University of Pennsylvania.

Beth Kephart's website

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Interview

Tamara Smith interviews Beth Kephart, about her YA novel, Small Damages, that brings the heat, the colors, and the smells of Seville, Spain alive - a feast for the heart and the soul, and a coming-of-age novel not easily forgotten.

A couple of months ago I was given a list of books to review, as I always am, by my wonderful boss at BookBrowse and I chose Small Damages by Beth Kephart. I was excited to read the book, but by the time I was a few chapters into it, I felt something much more electric than excitement. I felt transported—both out across the ocean to Spain and inside my body into my senses which were popping, buzzing and humming (a Spanish guitar riff...). Small Damages is an intimate, immediate story; filled with breathtakingly drawn characters. One of those characters is landscape. And while it doesn't have dialogue per se, it does sing and moan and whisper and breathe.

I knew I wanted to interview Beth here, and she couldn't have been warmer or more enthusiastic about it. It was a complete joy to connect with her. I am thrilled and honored to have Beth Kephart here today. Welcome Beth!

KTESmall Damages is so rich in its attention to landscape. It was impossible to NOT feel like I was right there with Kenzie—smelling the saffron, feeling the thick heat, tasting the oranges. How did you gather and then articulate the details of this landscape?

BK: I am very blessed in that my brother-in-...

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Books by this Author

Books by Beth Kephart at BookBrowse
This Is the Story of You jacket Small Damages jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Beth Kephart but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Emily M. Danforth

    Emily M. Danforth

    Emily M. Danforth was born and raised in Miles City, Montana. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she's worked as the assistant... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Small Damages

    Try:
    The Miseducation of Cameron Post
    by Emily M. Danforth

  • Vanessa Diffenbaugh

    Vanessa Diffenbaugh

    Vanessa Diffenbaugh was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, California. After studying creative writing and education at Stanford University, Vanessa taught art and writing to youth in low-income communities. To write ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Small Damages

    Try:
    The Language of Flowers
    by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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