Zoe Keithley, Writer
“Zoe Keithley is one of the great undiscovered writers in America.”
(C. Michael Curtis, fiction editor, The Atlantic Monthly)
Zoe Keithley: “Crow Song”. “3/Chicago”.
“The Calling of Mother Adelli”.
Now on Amazon and Kindle!
“Everything helps you when you are a writer–speaks to you, imprints you with its many-sided selves. Writing fills you up with its astounding self. You are beholden to it and you pass the amazement of it on to others.”
Zoe is a masterful storyteller. Her stories give us vivid characters and bold story-lines, taking us places only a writer of her caliber can conjure-up.
Take along a good story:
Zoe Keithley and Kindle
wherever you go.
Find it online here.
“THE CALLING OF MOTHER ADELLI”.
In an exclusive Catholic boarding school outside Chicago, story-time is September, 1948. Former ballerina Mary Agnes Adelli, now a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart and newly appointed Mistress of the Third Cours, expects to make final vows in just nine months when a late registrant, a sixth grade student, Helene Rhenehan, enters her life. Enraged at being abandoned by her doctor father, the perceptive ten year-old channels her fear and desire to retaliate toward the nun. Helene rightly intuits that Mother Adelli is easy prey, for the twenty-eight year-old nun is riddled with fault lines that only wait for stress sufficient to cause their eruption. Helene, in her furious misery, creates a three-ring circus in the prim and proper school. Things spiral downward with dizzying speed, disintegrating Mother Adelli’s standing with her students and attacking the fault lines of her persona as a religious. Can discipline, reason, good intentions and prayer bring about the change needed before the girl damages other lives besides her own? The Calling of Mother Adelli is a coming-of-age-tale of a young woman caught in a Gordian knot with great institutions. Though set in 1945, her story mirrors the struggles of our own times where loyalty to establishments–inherited, required or chosen–may come into collision with the deep issues of social responsibility and freedom of personal conscience.
“… in the morning the apartment smelled of buckwheat pancakes baking in the kitchen, paper-thin, wrapped over chopped cooked apples flecked with brown sugar. His tea sat steaming and full-bodied on the table. A little tune from his childhood sprang into his head to carousel away every unpleasant thought. He took a long breath. He had not felt so happy in years.” (“The Second Marriage of Albert Li Wu“) This short story collection is set in Chicago: An older Chinese man copes with being single, a business man tries to help a man in a wheelchair and the snarl he gets into, and a visit to a home or the elderly and the life-changing event you participate in. Kindle link
Reader Reviews: “These really took me to a place of flesh and grit and steel, a place where the vulnerable are tough and the wind blows fierce. I love the punchy writing style and how the characters’ lives spin out before us.” (Geoffrey Neill)
“Zoe Keithley is a masterful story teller and, as she promised us, this trio of stories takes the reader on a journey through the complicated turnings, dark alleys and sun-splashed gardens of the human spirit. and, if one loves Chicago as I do, through dear, familiar settings.” (Carolyn Kelley Williams)
About Zoe: Chicago born Zoe Keithley now lives in California, but has not forgotten her city. A graduate of Trinity University and Columbia College, Chicago, Zoe is a master teacher in writing. She has been writing, publishing and winning awards for over 30 years.
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