March 1, 2004 - Berry College: Senegal RPCV Melanie Sumner to Give Fiction Reading

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 7:48 pm: Edit Post

Senegal RPCV Melanie Sumner to Give Fiction Reading

Senegal RPCV Melanie Sumner to Give Fiction Reading

Senegal RPCV Melanie Sumner to Give Fiction Reading

Author Melanie Sumner to Give Fiction Reading

Rome, Ga. – Writer-in-residence Melanie Sumner will present a fiction reading at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 8, in Berry College’s science center auditorium. The reading is open to the public at no charge.

Sumner, whose works have earned her the Maria Thomas Award for the best Peace Corps novel and a nomination for the Georgia Writers’ Award, will read from her short story “Killing the Cat.” She is serving as Berry’s writer-in-residence during the 2003-04 academic year; she is also an associate professor of English at Shorter College.

According to the author, writing “Killing the Cat” was a way to process her grief following the death of her husband, David, who died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The short story, Sumner said, is set in coastal North Carolina and is narrated by a man whose wife dies of ALS. “This is my first attempt at writing from a male point of view. I think it works,” she said.

In her readings, Sumner seeks to bring the literature to life by adding a performance element to the presentation. “In part, I’m an entertainer,” she explained, “so I always like to keep the audience moving from one reaction to another, but a great story always transforms the reader or the listener.”

She added that her works are fueled by the human condition. “I can’t get over being a human, living on earth with other humans. We’re beautiful and horrid and shocking and ordinary and unfathomable.”

Sumner graduated with honors from The Darlington School in 1982. She received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies with honors in writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1986 and a master’s degree in creative writing from Boston University in 1987.

Her fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Atlanta magazine, Ladies Home Journal and Tri-Quarterly.

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Story Source: Berry College

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Senegal; Writing - Senegal



By stuart sumner ( - on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 2:34 pm: Edit Post

Melanie, the dots are just too close together - coincidence demands we connect them. We are both 'Sumners'. My dad, from Bat Cave, NC, Charles Sumner, was the first to fly a plane named for Lou Gherig, "The Pride of the Yanks". He got his first two 'kills' on his first mission in the plane. I have copy of a letter of appreciation to the squadron written by Mrs Gerhig. I will try to find it and send it to you if you want. You may write me at

Oh, yeah, I, too am an RCPC, Korea 46 (1978-80)

stuart Sumner
UNC 1971

By SANE Ousmane ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 4:11 am: Edit Post

Bonjour Mélanie,
Je suis trés content d'avoir de tes nouvelles depuis le Sénégal.
I am very happy to have yours news. Everything is okay here and everyone shakes you hand.

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