MISSOULA – Writer Gina Ochsner will visit the University of Montana to present a fiction craft lecture titled “Mistakes I Have Made and Great Advice I Wish I Had Taken to Heart” at noon on Friday, Feb. 9, in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall. She will give a reading the same day in the same location at 7 p.m.
Both the lecture and the reading are free and open to the public, sponsored by the President’s Writers-in-Residence Series and the UM Creative Writing Program.
Ochsner teaches writing and literature at Corban University in Salem, Oregon, and with Seattle Pacific University’s Low-Residency MFA program. She is the author of the short story collection “The Necessary Grace to Fall,” which was selected for the Flannery O’Connor Award, and the collection “People I Wanted to Be.” Both collections received the Oregon Book Award.
Her first novel, “The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight,” was released in 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and her latest novel, “The Hidden Letters of Velta B,” will be out in paperback this summer.
Regarding “The Hidden Letters of Velta B,” about a family of Latvian gravediggers, Ochsner said, “If people only wrote what they feel like they knew, we’d have very little being written. My goal is to find the thematic strands that apply to us all, that have a universal message that would be true for anyone. I am always looking for the next location or the next thematic tangle that I want to explore.”