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Debut novelists to read at USF Graphicstudio

TAMPA, Fla. -- Debut novelists Phillippe Diederich and Kimberly Karalius, both graduates of the University of South Florida creative writing master's program, will read from their first novels at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4 at the USF Graphicstudio. This event is free and open to the public.

Diederich's "Sofrito" (Cinco Puntos Press) was named a novel of note by the Los Angeles Times and has been described by novelist Cristina Garcia as "a love letter to the deepest recesses of nostalgia’s heart.” This story follows Frank Delgado, the son of Cuban exiles, who travels to Havana in search of a top-secret recipe that may save his failing restaurant in New York City.

Born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian parents and raised in Mexico City and Miami, Diederich is an award-winning fiction writer and photographer who traveled repeatedly to Cuba as a photojournalist throughout the 1990s. His short fiction has been published in numerous national literary journals and has received four Pushcart Prize nominations.

Diederich also is a recipient of the Chris O’Malley Prize for Fiction, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature and a John Ringling Towers Grant in Literature from the Sarasota County Artist Alliance. He is a creative writing instructor at Ringling College of Art and Design and the editor-in-chief of Viva Fifty! a bilingual and bicultural online magazine.

Karalius is the author of the young-adult novel “Love Fortunes and Other Disasters” (Swoon Reads/Macmillan), described by School Library Journal as "an unusual love story that will delight readers." “Love Fortunes” concerns the mythical town of Grimbaud, where Fallon Dupree struggles against her allotted fortune to always be in love, but never have that love requited. Happily ever after soon becomes a reality in this charming and whimsical tale that delights both adult and young-adult readers.

A sequel entitled “Love Charms and Other Catastrophes” will be published by Swoon Reads in May 2016.

Karalius' fiction has been published in close to two dozen literary journals. Her chapbook “Pocket Forest” was published by Deathless Press and her story "The Lost Detective" was included in “Things You Can Create: an Anthology of Speculative Fiction.”

"Both Diederich and Karalius exemplify the ideal graduate of our program," said Professor Rita Ciresi, director of creative writing at USF. "They are outstanding storytellers who know the value of revision. We are extremely proud of their success and honored to count these authors among our alumni."

Since its inception, the USF M.F.A. program in creative writing, housed in the Department of English, has graduated more than two dozen talented poets and prose writers. This reading will be the first of several readings by M.F.A. alumni scheduled during this academic year.

For more information, contact Ciresi,, (813) 974-9570.


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