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Meet the Author

Vindicated
June 25, 2022
2:00 pm

Kathleen Williams Renk | Vindicated

Winner of Story Circle Network’s May Sarton Award in Historical Fiction

Mary Godwin is a teenager with a formidable pedigree. Both of her parents are philosophers but it is Mary Wollstonecraft, the mother she never met, who haunts her waking and dreaming worlds. Reading about her mother’s life and death inspires Mary to keep a journal. Just as the tumult of her parents’ relationship comes alive in her imagination, she meets emerging poet Percy Shelley. Even though he is married and his wife is pregnant, Shelley threatens to kill himself if Mary will not elope with him. It’s possible that Shelley is mad, but their intellectual and creative affinities convince her that she is his Child of Light.

Passionate and intellectual, Mary Godwin struggles with the demands of her volatile husband Percy Shelley and their circle of friends.  But as she writes Frankenstein, she also muses about her encounters with her creature and the philosophical questions of life, death, and creation that undergird her novel. Justifying their unconventional life and enduring personal tragedies, Mary follows in her mother’s footsteps, as she contemplates a woman’s place in literature and the world.

This event will be moderated by Kali White VanBaale, a Des Moines-area creative writing professor and award-winning author of novels, short stories, essays, and articles.

About the Author…..

Kathleen Williams Renk taught British and Women’s literature for nearly three decades in the U.S. and abroad. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, Williams Renk studied fiction writing with James Alan MacPherson. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Iowa City MagazineLiterary YardPage and Spine, and CC & D Magazine

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