Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A.; University of Massachusetts, M.F.A.
Writer. St. Alban's School, Washington, DC, writer-in-residence, 2003-04; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, writer-in-residence. Fellow of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.
When We Get There (novel), Bloomsbury USA (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including New Orleans Review, Meridian, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Other Voices.
Shauna Seliy is a writer who grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Seliy earned her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and later went on to get an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts. As a writer, Seliy has contributed to a number of periodicals, including New Orleans Review, Meridian, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Other Voices. Seliy was given fellowships with Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony and served as writer-in-residence from 2003-04 at St. Alban's School in Washington, DC.
In 2007, Seliy published her first novel, When We Get There. The novel is set in the declining mining town of Banning, Pennsylvania. Thirteen-year-old Lucas Lessar is raised by his grandmother and extended family since his father has been dead for some time, and his mother has just left the family. The journey Lucas goes through in order to find his mother and accept their fates becomes his personal coming-of-age story. Reviews for the debut novel were mostly positive. John Freeman, writing in the New York Times, noted that ‘in Seliy's hands, the stories told by Lucas's elders become as singular and dangerous as the poorly covered mine shafts of the local landscape.’ Library Journal contributor Caroline Hallsworth thought that ‘the prose is ordinary, if not pedantic … and the pacing is slow and slightly off kilter.’ Bill O'Driscoll, writing in the Pittsburgh City Paper, found that ‘many many of Seliy's images and symbols are simply and powerfully enough rendered to be indelible.’ O'Driscoll added that ‘Seliy might sound familiar themes, but she imbues them with considerable lyricism.’ A contributor to Publishers Weekly concluded: ‘Seily's accomplished debut bids a bittersweet farewell to one way of life while anticipating promise down the road."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, March 15, 2007, Caroline Hallsworth, review of When We Get There, p. 63.
New York Times, September 9, 2007, John Freeman, review of When We Get There.
Pittsburgh City Paper, May 17, 2007, Bill O'Driscoll, review of When We Get There.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 17, 2007, Cristina Rouvalis, review of When We Get There, p. C2.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 29, 2007, Regis Behe, review of When We Get There.
Publishers Weekly, March 12, 2007, review of When We Get There, p. 38.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2007, Miriam Wolf, review of When We Get There, p. M3.
Shauna Seliy Home Page,http://www.shaunaseliy.com (October 11, 2007).