Minnesota native Bethany Barnett was born just a stone’s throw from Lake Superior, in her opinion the greatest of all the “Great Lakes.” Three years later, Barnett’s family had moved to Little Falls, Minnesota, famous as the home of Charles Lindbergh, the first man to make a solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. This quiet, Mississippi riverside town was the backdrop of Barnett’s childhood, full of swimming, swinging on rope swings, and catching crayfish in the shallows. Much of her early unpublished creative non-fiction and poetry finds its inspiration in this idyllic place and its people.
Bethany’s interests range from hiking in the great outdoors, to vegetarian cooking—her passions, from coffee, to faith, to anything with blueberries in it. Bethany’s favourite authors are Ann Lamott, Julia Cameron and Max Lucado. She grew up being read C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien by her father on many a long car journey, and is particularly fond of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Lord of the Rings. In more recent years, Barnett has found herself impacted by military history films and literature, such as Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, The Siege at Jadotville: the Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle, American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, and Hacksaw Ridge. In addition to this, Barnett’s own interest in writing military biography stems from her brother’s service in the United States Army, and both of her parents’ work for the United Nations.
Barnett studied for her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Minnesota at Morris, a public liberal arts university situated in a rural setting on some of Minnesota’s richest agricultural land. At Morris, Bethany studied literature under Dr. Dwight Purdy, a James Joyce and W.B. Yeats (and Ireland) enthusiast. This experience inspired Barnett to study for one college term in Ireland at the University of Limerick in the winter of 2000. It was here she was introduced to sean nos singing, the Book of Kells and the merry wake. Though deeply impacted by Ireland, its history and culture, as well as by its value of the word—spoken, written and sung—Barnett was yet unaware of the long-term impact of this stay in Ireland. For her master’s degree, Bethany attended North Dakota State University where her studies focused on literature and linguistics. One week after presenting her master’s thesis, Barnett boarded a plane for Ireland where she continues to live thirteen years later.
Join us for the launch of About Face by Bethany Barnett.
I will be attending the International Literature Festival on Saturday, 20th May. There is a huge variety of events on around the city. If you are attending, please don’t hesitate to pop me an email and we can have a coffee. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org