Charlotte Readers Podcast: Kathryn Schwille

Kathryn Schwille

“What Luck, This Life”

In today’s episode, we meet Kathryn Schwille, author of What Luck, This Life, a story about life on the ground following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

In this engaging literary work, the fictional town of Kiser, Texas becomes a central character in the novel when the space shuttle debris rains down on it from on high. The story is told through complex lives of normal people whose choices sometimes feel like an echo of the chaos visited upon them from a place outside their normal space.

Learn More About This Episode
Learn More About This Episode

In today’s episode, we meet Kathryn Schwille, author of What Luck, This Life, a story about life on the ground following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

In this engaging literary work, the fictional town of Kiser, Texas becomes a central character in the novel when the space shuttle debris rains down on it from on high. The story is told through complex lives of normal people whose choices sometimes feel like an echo of the chaos visited upon them from a place outside their normal space.

Kathryn starts the show with a reading from the first chapter, where trails of smoke in the sky lead to somber times to follow on the surface. Here’s an excerpt:

“What could we do? The stuff was everywhere, light as paper, heavy as brick. We set up roadblocks where it littered our highways. Our children played at searching. For what? A nose cone? A fuel cell? An instrument panel? Coyotes, weasels, green flies, crows. For weeks we walked with our heads down. Watching, watching, where we walked.”

Kathryn Schwille grew up in Virginia, where she never seriously considered any career that didn’t involve writing. She was a newspaper reporter before moving to Charlotte to become an editor at The Charlotte Observer. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, she now mentors writers, teaches writing and is on the regular faculty at Charlotte Center for Literary Arts.

Her short stories have appeared in New Letters, Memorious, Literary Hub, StorySouth, Crazyhorse, The Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row and other journals, and have been cited twice for Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been supported by an Individual Artist Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, and by several fellowships. Her novel, What Luck, This Life, was a 2018 best seller at Park Road Books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Menu