About Girlwonders

Girlwonders grew up in snowy Arizona, spent five years in the Windy City, and now lives in Cedar Falls.  Her nonfiction thinks it’s fabulism and her fiction thinks it’s true, a quandary that landed her at Clarion UCSD in summer 2011.  (For her Clarionblogging of those six weeks, begin here.)  She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Iowa.  She is not as superheroic as advertised.


11 thoughts on “About Girlwonders

  1. Hi there – I’m so happy you liked the talk at AWP. Let me know if you’d like to do a review of my new book The Vicious Red Relic, Love! And I wouldn’t have been around UCSD this summer while you were at Clarion, but congratulations on doing that fantastic program. I think I want to try to get into it some year. SO cool.

    xo Anna Joy

    • Whoa, hello there! Pleasure to Internet-meet you! Vicious Red Relic is genius — the first of its kind, and a much needed shake-up for nonfic. I’m actually planning to discuss it in my preliminary exam defense (which is this weekend, eek!). If I manage to say anything remotely useful (besides THIS IS BRILLIANT AND EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT) I’ll absolutely post a review. Seriously, what you do with form-play is just stunning.

      And I cannot say enough good things about Clarion–they were very open to weird and woolly takes on genre, plus I generated SO much new writing during those six weeks…and my fellow Clarionauts were just amazing. Totally worth doing.

      You beat me to the punch, actually — I’d planned to email you next week once I was on the other side of exams to request your teaching materials for the Rebus. Just give me a week to get through this nightmare…

  2. Brooke,
    I read your fabulous short story “Everything Must Go,” last night and woke up thinking about it this morning. Wonderful use of language and metaphor; it reminded me of both Gabriel Garcia Marquez (although that may be obvious considering the boy with wings) and Ray Bradbury.

    As a fellow Chicagoan, I couldn’t help but picture the house as one of those ubiquitous bungalows you find north and south side alike.

    Years ago, I wrote a somewhat similar short titled “Lungs” about an aging Chicago highrise about to be torn down and replaced with a glitzy, new hotel. I love stories with protagonists (if the house can rightly be described as such), that break the mold of conventionality.

    Kind regards,

    • Thank you for the warm words, Nathan, and nice to Internet-meet you! I’m always excited to find more Chicago-local SF writers. And “Lungs” sounds just lovely — resonances of Millhauser’s Martin Dressler, perhaps?


      • Curious: did you submit “Everything Must Go” to more than one magazine or was Clarksworld the first? Also, how do your fellow academic folks view your penchant for writing science fiction? In undergrad, my profs found it bemusing or viewed it as a sure fire way to guarantee I never amounted to much as a writer. To date, they’re mostly right, as I’ve written very little the last seven years or so. I finished my first book, a memoir, in the spring. It’s with an agent who may or may not find a home for it. Memoir is a tough sell. These days I’ve rediscovered my love for short fiction (reading and writing), and hope to place a few stories once I put them through the revision process. I discovered Clarksworld because I wanted to read a few quality stories, and to gauge the market for my own work. I read about a half-dozen of the stories on the webpage and liked yours the best, largely because it’s approachable and well written. Hard sci-fi has never pleased me as much as the softer sort.

      • I’d sent an early draft of “Everything Must Go” to one of the more genre-friendly literary magazines, but they promptly rejected it. CW was technically my second submission attempt, though it was the first for that draft. SF/fantasy is always a tough sell in the academy, and my experience has been no exception to that norm; however, my dissertation committee has been very supportive of the various types of work I do, and I’m deeply grateful that that’s the case. Congrats on your agented memoir, too! That’s a heck of an accomplishment.

  3. I loved “Everything Must Go” when I first read it; a really great piece of surreal/magical realist fiction! One of my favorites from Clarkesworld in the past few months. A professor of mine was taking suggestions for stories that we might read in our Literary Theory class around the time it was published and I offered it up. We just went over it today and it made for a very interesting conversation in class. I just thought you might think that was cool 🙂

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