Author Archives: katiequirkauthor

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YA–why the genre distinction?

An interview done by Scott Simon on NPR with author Claire Messud about her novel, The Burning Girl, recently caught my attention. The novel is a story of adolescent friendship, but it’s not labeled as YA. This distinction had me … Continue reading

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Character Transformation and Writing

Last week I wrote about “windows” and “mirrors” in creative writing, and how travel–or really any experience with difference, even in own neighborhood–can challenge our expectations about the world and provide great fuel for writing. This week I want to … Continue reading

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Writing and Travel

Folks talk about creative writing providing windows and mirrors: stories that allow us to feel and experience another’s context or perspective (windows) and tales that help us better understand ourselves (mirrors). I tend to gravitate toward writing that offers me … Continue reading

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Our year in graphic novels

I recently published an essay in The Washington Post about my family’s year in graphic novels. Why graphic novels? For me, as a lover of libraries, one of the big limitations that comes with living in a less developed country … Continue reading

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Learning Spanish in Guatemala

As many of you know, my family just spent the last year in Central America. Living abroad has always been a boon for my writing, exposing me to new potential settings for books (imagine staring down into a volcanic caldera … Continue reading

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Soccer, the Central American Way

Traveling or living abroad often provides great fodder for writing. New cultural contexts, languages and even natural settings provide us with fresh eyes on the world and on assumptions we make about how things ought to be done. A Girl … Continue reading

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From a Tanzanian Village to Mumbai

Readers of A Girl Called Problem often ask me about my friend Modesta, the woman I dedicated the novel to and whom I introduce at the end of the book in my author’s note. Modesta was one of many village … Continue reading

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