Joanna Scott is an author and professor of English at UR. She has received critical acclaim for her novels, including her recent book, ‘Liberation,” merited the Ambassador Book Award for Fiction. Completing her undergraduate studies at Trinity College and receiving her masters from Brown University, Scott has traveled around the world in search of literary inspiration. With a rich pool of experiences to draw from, Scott has truly established herself as a successful novelist.

What did you do before you taught at UR?
I spent some years growing up a never-ending process, I’m discovering! I worked as an assistant in a bakery, as an EMT on an ambulance, at the front desk in a library, as a proofreader for a news syndicate and as an assistant at a New York literary agency. And then I went to graduate school and settled into the work of writing, editing and teaching.

What are your favorite classes to teach?

I love to keep designing new classes, each with a distinct focus. Some recent examples include ‘The Literature of Confusion.” It was especially fun, since I’m pretty good at being confused. I also liked ‘The Role of Voice in 20th Century International Fiction” and, this semester, ‘Creative Prose,” with a focus on ‘The Representation of Place.”

Who was your biggest influence to pursue a career in writing?
I blame my obsession with imaginative writing on a confluence that includes people my family, close friends, and challenging teachers favorite books and writers beginning with Faulker, Chekhov, Dickens, Dinesen, Woolf, Beckett, John Hawkes and accidental encounters with art, with different places, with strangers and overheard stories.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
A combination of expansive and selective awareness.

Venkateswaran is a member of the class of 2011.



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