Savoy Bookshop & Café presents an author talk with Katharine Beutner in conversation with Juliet Grames for the book Killingly
About the Book
Based on the unsolved real-life disappearance of a Mount Holyoke student in 1897--a haunting novel of intrigue, longing, and terror, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt and Sarah Waters.
Massachusetts, 1897: Bertha Mellish, "the most peculiar, quiet, reserved girl" at Mount Holyoke College, is missing.
As a search team dredges the pond where Bertha might have drowned, her panicked father and sister arrive desperate to find some clue to her fate or state of mind. Bertha's best friend, Agnes, a scholarly loner studying medicine, might know the truth, but she is being unhelpfully tightlipped, inciting the suspicions of Bertha's family, her classmates, and the private investigator hired by the Mellish family doctor. As secrets from Agnes's and Bertha's lives come to light, so do the competing agendas driving each person who is searching for Bertha.
Where did Bertha go? Who would want to hurt her? And could she still be alive?
Edmund White Award-winning author Katharine Beutner takes a real-life unsolved mystery and crafts it into an unforgettable historical portrait of academia, family trauma, and the risks faced by women who dared to pursue unconventional paths at the end of the 19th century.
About Katharine Beutner
Katharine Beutner is an assistant professor of English at the College of Wooster in Ohio; previously, she taught at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She earned a BA in Classical Studies at Smith College and an MA in English (creative writing) and a PhD in English literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Her first novel, Alcestis, won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and was a finalist for other awards, including the Lambda Literary Association’s Lesbian Debut Fiction Award. Her writing has appeared in Tinfish, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, The Toast, TriQuarterly, Humanities, and other publications. Recently, she received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. She is the editor in chief of The Dodge, a magazine of eco-writing and translation.
About Juliet Grames
Juliet Grames is SVP, Associate Publisher at Soho Press, where she curates the Soho Crime imprint and the literature in translation program. She is the recipient of the Mystery Writers of America Ellery Queen Award for editorial contributions to the crime fiction genre. She is the author of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2019), a finalist for the New England and Connecticut Book Awards and winner of the Cetraro Prize for Southern Italian Literature. Her second novel, The Lost Boy of Santa Chionia, is forthcoming from Knopf in 2024.
Based on the unsolved real-life disappearance of a Mount Holyoke student in 1897—a haunting novel of intrigue, longing, and terror, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt and Sarah Waters
Massachusetts, 1897: Bertha Mellish, “the most peculiar, quiet, reserved girl” at Mount Holyoke College, is missing.