PERSONAL: Married to Daryl Gadbow (a journalist); children: Grady, Alison. Education: University of Montepellier, C.P., 1973; University of Montana, B.A., 1974, M.F.A., 1986.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Sarabande Books, 2234 Dundee Rd., Suite 200, Louisville, KY 40205. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Montana, Missoula, lecturer and director of the M.F.A. Creative Writing program.
AWARDS, HONORS: Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, 2001, for Pushed to Shore.
(Editor, with Jocelyn Siler and Mark Medvetz) TheQuill Reader, Harcourt College Publishers (Fort Worth, TX), 2000.
Pushed to Shore, Sarabande Books (Louisville, KY), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Cutbank, Epoch, Northwest Review, and Talking River Review.
SIDELIGHTS: Kate Gadbow is a fiction writer who teaches at the University of Montana in Missoula, where she also directs the school's Creative Writing program. Her first novel, Pushed to Shore, won the Mary McCarthy prize in 2001 and was published in 2003.
Pushed to Shore traces the lives of a group of Hmong and Vietnamese immigrants who settle in Montana after the Vietnam War and the English teacher who helps them learn a new language and culture. The teacher, Janet, is herself somewhat displaced, having earlier ended her marriage and moved to Montana from Washington state. She encourages her students to begin writing about their experiences, and one describes escaping from Vietnam in a fishing boat that was "pushed to the kind shore by a finger of God." However, the transition is difficult, both for the immigrant group and for Janet.
A Kirkus Reviews commentator called the novel "a quiet portrait, in a plain and straightforward style, of simple and unassuming people who rise above horrendous tribulations." In Publishers Weekly, a reviewer noted "Gadbow's characterizations are astute," and praised the novel's "sensitive portrayal of the fragile hopes" of the refugees. Cheryl L. Conway, writing in Library Journal, concluded that Gadbow's "straightforward, conversational prose . . . gradually draws the reader into a story about the sadness and beauty of life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Pushed toShore, pp. 1415-16.
Library Journal, December, 2002, Cheryl L. Conway, review of Pushed to Shore, p. 178.
Publishers Weekly, December 2, 2002, review of Pushed to Shore, p. 35.*