English professor to read from her work

ECU’s Liza Wieland will read selections from her new book of short stories, “Quickening,” at Joyner Library on Tuesday.

Published in January by Southern Methodist University Press, “Quickening” is Wieland’s third short story collection. One reviewer has noted that it is a “deft, fleet, and luminous collection of stories” and that Wieland “has a gift for culling extraordinary prose from the ordinary human moment.”

From the opening story in Wieland’s third story collection, in which a literary translator reflects on her first marriage, to the last, a poetic evocation of a daughter’s love for her mother, lyrical yet realistic portraits of women unfold, wrote one reviewer. Caught in revealing and cathartic moments, her characters, both historical and invented, find themselves at emotional crossroads: a young girl encounters the elderly Ezra Pound in Venice; Marie Curie’s daughter Eve attends the funeral of her mother’s lover in Paris; a woman survives the 1944 Nazi massacre in Oradour, France; a nun in New York City catches a baby dropped out a window; a U.S. college applicant performs sign language at poetry readings.

“Liza Wieland writes of discord with such harmony and wisdom that even the bad things that befall her characters feel limned with wonder and grace. For all its wonderfully realized tensions and conflicts, ‘Quickening’ is an oddly hopeful and redemptive book,” said Michael Parker, author of “Don’t Make Me Stop Now.”

Wieland, an Atlanta native, joined ECU’s English Department faculty to teach fiction in 2008. She has also published three novels and a collection of poetry. Her undergraduate degree is from Harvard; she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Columbia University.

The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, and the North Carolina Arts Council, Wieland has also won two Pushcart Prizes.

Wieland’s reading on Tuesday will begin at 8 p.m. on the second floor of Joyner Library. It is free and open to the public.