Brandon native publishes "The Bigness of the World"Brandon native Lori Ostlund recently published The Bigness of the World, a collection of 11 short stories.
Brandon native Lori Ostlund recently published The Bigness of the World, a collection of 11 short stories.
Her debut collection tells about people seeking escape from situations at home who venture out into a world that they find is just as complicated and troubled as the one they left behind.
In prose highlighted by both satire and poignant observation, Ostlund offers characters that represent those who poke fun at ideological rigidity while holding fast to good grammar and manners, people seeking connections in a world that seems increasingly foreign.
In Upon Completion of Baldness a young woman shaves her head for a part in a movie in Hong Kong that will help her escape life with her lover in Albuquerque.
The precocious narrator of All Boy finds comfort when he is locked in a closet by a babysitter.
In Dr. Deneau's Punishment a math teacher leaving New York for Minnesota as a means of punishing himself engages in an unsettling method of discipline.
A lesbian couple whose relationship is disintegrating flees to the Moroccan desert in The Children Beneath the Seat.
And in Idyllic Little Bali a group of Americans gather around a pool in Java to discuss their brushes with fame and end up witnessing a man's fatal flight from his wife.
The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other locations.
More information can be found on the author’s website, www.loriostlund.com.
About the author
Ostlund grew up in Brandon and graduated from Brandon High School. Though she left the area after graduation, she noted that her writing is “deeply influenced by this place.”
She has called Brandon and Moorhead, Minnesota home, as well as Albuquerque, New Mexico; Madrid, Spain; Malacca, Malaysia; and now San Francisco.
She’s worked as a teacher most of her life, with the exception of seven years co-owning and operating a furniture and antique business called Two Serious Ladies.
Over the years, she has taught college writing, English as a Second Language (ESL) to foreigners, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation to Spaniards, SAT preparation to high school students at Madrid's American School and business communications to Malaysians.
She lives with her partner, the novelist Anne Raeff, in San Francisco, where she teaches remedial English and story writing at the Art Institute of California.
Ostlund’s first story collection, The Bigness of the World, won the 2008 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the California Book Award for First Fiction, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and was a Lambda finalist.
The Story Prize named it a 2009 Notable Book, and the collection has also been included on the long list for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the short list for the 2010 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.
Her stories have appeared in such journals as New England Review, the Georgia Review, Hobart, Prairie Schooner and the Kenyon Review.
In addition, two stories from the collection have been singled out for awards: “Idyllic Little Bali” received the $1,000 Lawrence Foundation Award for best story published by Prairie Schooner in 2009, and “All Boy” was chosen by Richard Russo for inclusion in the 2010 Best American Short Stories.
In September 2009, Ostlund was one of six emerging women writers honored nationally with a $25,000 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She received a 2010 fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
She is spending the current academic year as the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, during which time she hopes to complete her first novel, tentatively entitled After the Parade, and a second story collection.