University of Nebraska Press published author Suzanne Roberts’ latest book “Animal Bodies” | Latest News

KEARNEY — Writer Didi Jackson, author of “Moon Jar,” described the work of Suzanne Roberts by saying, “The essays in ‘Animal Bodies’ unflinchingly, yet so importantly, meditate on loss and grief.” Roberts teaches in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada University and lives in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The University of Nebraska Press published Roberts’ book of hers, “Animal Bodies: On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties,” this month.

In her latest book, “Animal Bodies: On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties,” Suzanne Roberts writes about the link between death and desire, peppered by what it means to accept our own animal natures, the parts we most often hide, deny , or consider only with shame — our taboo desires and our grief.

Named by National Geographic’s “Traveler” as the “The Next Great Travel Writer,” Roberts’ work has been listed as notable in “Best American Essays” and included in “The Best Women’s Travel Writing.” Her work by her has appeared in The New York Times, CNN, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Rumpus, Hippocampus, The Normal School, River Teeth, and elsewhere. She holds a doctorate in literature and the environment from the University of Nevada-Reno, teaches in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada University and lives in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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Suzanne Roberts

Her 2007 memoir, “Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail” won the National Outdoor Book Award.

The University of Nebraska Press published Roberts’ latest book this month, exploring landscapes as diverse as Salamanca’s cobbled streets, the Mekong River’s floating markets, Fire Island’s windswept beaches, Nashville’s honky-tonks, and the Sierra Nevada’s snowy slopes. The writer interrogates her memory of her and tries to make sense of her own private, personal losses of her including the deaths of people close to her and the demise of important relationships.

Roberts also examines more public losses including a mass shooting in her hometown and environmental devastation in the Amazon rain forest.

Carolyn Forché, author of “What You Have Heard Is True,” notes the wisdom and humor of Roberts.

“Suzanne Roberts’ essays are eloquent and vibrantly imaginative,” Forché wrote. “They are lyrical in the best sense: The language is rhythmic, pulsing on the page, but they are never poeticized, flowery or vague. Roberts’ wisdom and humor are evident throughout. I so welcome a collection of her essays from her, all in one place. ”

Another author, Lee Herrick, (“Scar and Flower and Gardening Secrets of the Dead”) acknowledges how Roberts can incorporate nonsensical ideas in her writing.

“’Animal Bodies’ is a marvel, a heartbreaking road map of living, loving and grieving,” Herrick wrote. “Roberts bravely recalls the deaths of her alcoholic father, her dear friend of her — and her mother of her, a complex force in her life of her. Here, we read about rape, escape, affairs and repair. There is wilderness and then, somehow, the clearing — both in her world of her travels of her and the dying around her. Thinking about death clarifies life and Roberts knows the thin line between grief and joy, the importance of living fully and fighting for freedom without apology. This is hard-earned wisdom and liberation. I can’t stop thinking about it.”

Some of her awards include:

Gold Medal for Best Travel Book, Independent Publishers Book Award, 2021; National Indie Excellence Awards, Finalist in Travel, 2021; Foreword INDIES Excellence Awards, Best Travel Book of the Year, Bronze Medalist, 2021; Story Circle’s Women’s Book Awards, Finalist for the Gilda Award, 2021; Bronze Medal Winner for Best Travel Book, North American Travel Journalists Association, 2021; Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Award, Runner-up for “In Love with the World,” 2020; “Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts,” The Rick DeMarinis Short Story Award, Finalist, 2019; Writer Advice, Flash Travel Contest, Finalist for “Odds Are,” 2018; and Travelers’ Tales Bronze Medal and “Editor’s Choice” for “Bellagio People,” 2017.

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