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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 3: Good Thunder Reading Series

Rachel Hanel and Swati Avasthi featured.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of English News Release, 9-27-2013

Mankato, Minn. -- Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series continues its 32nd season when it features two Minnesota writers, Madison Lake creative nonfiction writer Rachael Hanel and Minneapolis young-adult novelist Swati Avasthi, during a residency on Thursday, Oct. 3. The two will meet with community writers in the morning and be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium, they will lead a discussion on the craft of writing. At 7:30 p.m. in CSU Room 253, they will read from their published work. All events are free and open to the public.

Rachael Hanel writes and teaches in Mankato. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has written more than twenty nonfiction books for children, and her essays have been published in the Bellingham Review and New Delta Review. Her memoir about growing up as a gravedigger’s daughter, We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down, was released in Spring 2013 from the University of Minnesota Press.

Swati Avasthi is the author of Split (Knopf, 2010), which received the International Reading Association Award, Cybils Award, silver Parents’ Choice Award and was nominated for or won 15 state awards. It has made numerous “Best of” lists including YASLA, CCBC, and Bank Street. Her second novel, Chasing Shadows is just out from Knopf. Avasthi teaches at Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and lives in Minneapolis with her family.

This year’s Good Thunder Reading Series is funded by the Minnesota State Mankato Department of English, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment, and individual donors. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State's arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008. Additionally, this activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. MSU Library Services and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Minnesota State offer additional assistance.

For more information about the series, contact Richard Robbins at the Minnesota State Mankato Department of English, 507-389-1354, or see the web site at

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