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Michelle D. Kwasney (1960–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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Born 1960, in Elmira, NY. Education: B.S. (art education); M.S. (education). Hobbies and other interests: Reading, oil painting, photography, playing Scrabble, home-repair projects, computer games.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Henry Holt & Co., 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Career

Elementary art educator in western MA; writer.

Honors Awards

Book for the Teen Age designation, New York Public Library, 2004, for Baby Blue.

Writings

Baby Blue, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2004.

Work in Progress

Itch, a middle-grade friendship novel, for Henry Holt.

Sidelights

Michelle D. Kwasney is the author of Baby Blue, a "powerful first novel" according to Hazel Rochman in Booklist. It is the summer of 1976, and Blue, the thirteen-year-old narrator of Kwasney's debut, finds herself trying to muster the courage to help her fragile mother escape a dysfunctional relationship with the
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woman's abusive second husband, Jinx. Hoping that things will get better, Blue's mother continues to ignore the situation, focusing on her job waiting tables, and always forgiving her husband. "The author's eye for detail and sense of place firmly ground the story," com-mented a Publishers Weekly reviewer, the critic adding that Kwasney "sensitively and perceptively takes a familiar YA theme and gives it heart."

Kwasney resides in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she continues to write while teaching art to elementary-grade students. Commenting on her writing, she noted on her Web site: "For me, everything starts with character. I'll get an inkling one is squirming around in my head, wanting out. But it's not until I hear her voice, and find out where she wants to take me, that the story can begin to unfold. It's an exciting adventure getting to know this new person—a lot like meeting a new friend. That's my favorite part of writing, the early beginnings when anything seems possible."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Baby Blue, p. 1361.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Baby Blue, p. 225.

Publishers Weekly, April 26, 2004, review of Baby Blue, p. 67.

School Library Journal, March, 2004, Roxanne Myers Spencer, review of Baby Blue, p. 216.

ONLINE

Michelle D. Kwasney Web site, http://www.michelledkwasney.com (June 11, 2005).

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