(Katherine Pannill Center, Katherine Pannill)
Born in Houston, TX; married Gordon Center (a teacher); children: one boy, one girl. Education: Vassar College, B.A.; University of Houston, M.A.
Home—Houston, TX. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Worked in a bookstore and as a teacher of creative writing for Writers in the Schools.
Vassar College fiction prize; University of Houston fellowship.
The Bright Side of Disaster (novel), Ballantine (New York, NY), 2007.
Houston native Katherine Center's novel The Bright Side of Disaster is her debut featuring Jenny Harris, who lives in an historic Houston neighborhood. When her very attractive friend Nadia rejects the advances of garage-band musician Dean, he moves on to Jenny and eventually into her apartment. Jenny is soon pregnant, but her mother rules out a quick wedding and plans a big event after the baby is born. The wedding never occurs, however, as Dean disappears just as she is about to give birth, and when she does, baby Maxie becomes the sole object of her affection.
Jenny is supported by new and old friends and her mother, and tries to bring her parents, who have been divorced for fifteen years, together again. Neighbor John Gardner becomes an important part of Jenny's life, but then Dean reappears, which presents a dilemma.
Guidelive.com reviewer Joy Tipping called Center's characterization and dialogue "sharply honed and spot on. You may want to conk some of these people over the head with a logic-inducing thump, but you'll know them. They're your neighbors, your best friends, your impossible exes … and yes, your mommy groups." Reviewing the book for the MidWeek News Web site, Erica Semenchuk wrote: "Katherine Center's debut novel has a lot of what a truly enjoyable novel has—an engaging plot, loveable characters, a little humor, some romance and even a dose of drama and suspense, which makes it very difficult to put down."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books, June 2, 2007, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of The Bright Side of Disaster, p. 8.
Library Journal, June 1, 2007, Amanda Glasbrenner, review of The Bright Side of Disaster, p. 107.
Publishers Weekly, March 5, 2007, review of The Bright Side of Disaster, p. 33.
Guidelive.com,http://www.guidelive.com/ (September 2, 2007), Joy Tipping, review of The Bright Side of Disaster.
Katherine Center Home Page,http://katherinecenter.com (September 23, 2007).
MidWeek News,http://midweeknews.com/ (August 30, 2007), Erica Semenchuk, review of The Bright Side of Disaster.
Readers Read,http://www.readersread.com/ (September 23, 2007), "Interview with Katherine Center."