Kerney, Kelly 1979-
Kerney, Kelly 1979-
(Kelly A. Kerney)
PERSONAL: Born 1979. Education: Bowdoin College, B.A., 2002; University of Notre Dame, M.F.A., 2004.
ADDRESSES: Home— Richmond, VA.
AWARDS, HONORS: University of Notre Dame, Nicholas Sparks Postgraduate Fellowship, 2004.
Born Again (novel), Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Kelly Kerney loved to read from a young age, but it was only thanks to the encouragement of one of her professors during her time at Bow-doin College that she began to seriously consider becoming a writer herself. Anthony Walton was Writer-in-Residence at Bowdoin when Kerney enrolled in the English department, and it was Walton who encouraged Kerney to take her own writing to the next level. In an interview for the Bowdoin College Web site, Kerney explained: “I never thought I could write (professionally) until I worked with Professor Walton. He opened my eyes to contemporary literature, and the more I read, the more I believed that I could do it.” Walton not only helped Kerney develop as a writer, but pointed her in the direction of books and authors whose works he felt would assist in her development. The result of Kerney’s hard work was graduate school at the University of Notre Dame, followed by a Sparks Fellowship from author Nicholas Sparks that enabled her to spend an entire year writing. Kerney began work on her first novel, Born Again, partway through graduate school. The novel builds on themes from her own childhood, and tells the story of Mel, a Pentecostal and Bible Quiz champ, who decides to take on Darwin’s theory of evolution. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews called the book “a seamless blend of snark and sincerity.” Amy Johnson, in a review for the San Francisco Chronicle, found Kerney’s book to be “a humorous portrait of an adolescent awakening from the blind faith of childhood and learning to see, think and believe with adult awareness.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, August 1, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Born Again, p. 41.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2006, review of Born Again, p. 537.
Library Journal, September 15, 2006, Heather McCormack, review of Born Again, p. 49.
Publishers Weekly, May 29, 2006, review of Born Again, p. 34.
BookLoons, http://www.bookloons.com/ (December 26, 2006), Lyn Seippel, review of Born Again.
Bowdoin College Web site, http://www.bowdoin.edu/ (September 16, 2006), “Kelly Kerney ’02 Garners Big Attention for Debut Novel.”
Kelly Kerney’s My Space Page, http://profile.myspace.com/ (December 26, 2006), author biography.