Author Brenda K. Marshall will be at Bismarck State College March 1-4 as a guest of the BSC Visiting Writers Series and BSC BookTalk. Her residency involves two public events based on her recent novel and presentations to students in several English writing classes.
On Thursday, March 1, Marshall will do a reading from "Dakota, Or What's a Heaven For" and sign books. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the BSC Student Union Prairie Room, lower level.
On Sunday, March 4, Marshall will attend BSC's BookTalk to lead discussion on her "Dakota" novel, the last selection in the BookTalk series for this year. Discussion begins at 1 p.m. in the BSC Library with refreshments served.
Published in 2010, "Dakota, Or What's a Heaven For" is set in 19th century North Dakota and is about stories people create about themselves to perpetuate identities that allow them to live in a particular way. The novel's central character, Frances, marries Percy, a man for whom she has no desire, so she can be nearer to the one for whom she really cares, his sister, Anna. Percy's father moves the whole family to Dakota Territory to set up a bonanza farm. Once there, a variety of characters appear, the most captivating of which is Kirsten Knudson, a spunky, young Norse immigrant.
Marshall grew up on a farm in the Red River Valley and lived in various states before settling near Ann Arbor, Michigan. She holds a doctorate in English and teaches part-time in the English Department at the University of Michigan. Marshall's first novel, "Mavis," was published in 1996 and involves the complex dynamics between six sisters in modern day America. She also has published a book of scholarship titled "Teaching the Postmodern: Fiction and Theory."
Marshall's appearance is co-sponsored by BSC BookTalk and the Visiting Writers Series, supported by the English program of the Arts and Communication Department. Both programs are funded in part by grants from the Bismarck State College Foundation.
About Bismarck State College Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.