Pamela Schoenewaldt

About me

My first two historical novels, WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS (HarperCollins, 2011) and SWIMMING IN THE MOON (HarperCollins, 2013) deal with the immigration experience, worker justice, women’s issues, and treatment of mental illness. My interest in immigration comes from the 10 years I lived in Italy and fascination with the challenge, the strange pleasures, and the displacement of being “a stranger.” Now I live in Knoxville, TN (a displaced Northerner) with my husband Maurizio, a physicist, and Jesse, the dog.
My academic background is Renaissance literature, and for many years I wrote short stories for pleasure while working as a professional writer of scripts, speeches, articles, and brochures. I’ve taught writing at the University of Maryland, European Division and the University of Tennessee where I was writer in residence.

From my website

“Tell me how you lost.”

I’m taking Silvia to gymnastics. She scrambles into her car seat and demands a story. “About what?” I have in mind the continuing saga of the Tudor family: warring cousins, blood, crowns, The Tower. Far away fantasy. But she wants something else. “Tell me about how you lost somebody!” “I…

Dialect and the hamster/grandfather issue

My novel in progress is set here in Appalachia a century ago, when dialect was strong. Which raises a constant writer’s dilemma: verisimilitude and historical accuracy versus out-of-area comprehension. One doesn’t want to replicate my grandfather/hamster confusion. I grew up in the Northeast and had never lived in the South…

Cheese straws and lies

In my novel in progress, set in Tennessee, 1919, the cook makes cheese straws for a garden party that never happens. Too bad. They’re easy, addictive, and very southern. The recipe follows, adapted from Nathalie Dupree’s New Southern Cooking. I got her book years ago through work desperation. I was…

 
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