News Hartwick’s Tessa Yang Publishes Debut Fiction Anthology
On Thursday, October 13, Hartwick College Assistant Professor of Literature, Media, and Writing Tessa Yang celebrates the publication of her first collection of short stories. “The Runaway Restaurant: Stories” (7.13 Books) is a work of speculative fiction and contains stories from across a spectrum of themes, from dreamlike to dystopian.
Speculative fiction is a broad classification of writing, one that encompasses non-realist genres such as fantasy, science fiction, and horror. For example, in one story in “The Runaway Restaurant,” a young woman falls in love with a biohacked model, a woman with gadgets implanted in various parts of her body. In another, a mother searches for her missing daughter by taking on a hitchhiker in the hopes of finding a restaurant rumored to be a destination for runaways. And in another, after a pandemic wipes out modern civilization, a group of survivors must decide whether to merge with the Mother Earthlings, a clan determined to repopulate the Earth.
“You only get one first book, and like most authors, I’ve been dreaming of mine for a long time,” says Yang. “The 13 stories represent six years of work, with lots of input and support from different people along the way. I’m inspired by other authors who live in that literary-speculative space, people like Lesley Nneka Arimah, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, and George Saunders.”
The book is already receiving positive industry reviews. “Yang thoughtfully explores her characters’ needs and emotions, and she effectively conceives surprising and uncomfortable circumstances…to interrogate the strength of human relationships,” says Publishers Weekly. “Readers will be delighted by Yang’s creative examination of her characters’ psyches.”
Yang joined the Hartwick faculty in 2019. Her areas of expertise include creative writing, literary and genre fiction, short stories, flash fiction, literary editing and publishing, and at the College she recently taught courses including “Intro to Creative Writing,” “Intermediate Fiction,” “Science Fiction,” and “Literary Editing.”
Her previously published work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cream City Review, The Spectacle, The Carolina Quarterly, PRISM International, Wigleaf, Joyland, Juked, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her reviews have appeared in Indiana Review, Necessary Fiction, and The Master’s Review. In March, she published a short story for the online magazine Burrow Press Review called “The Line.” She has a forthcoming piece called “Upstairs” slated to appear in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Yang has earned several awards and distinctions, including Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions (2018 and 2019); Indiana University Guy Lemmon Award for Public Writing (2018); Indiana University Ross Lockridge Jr. Award in Creative Writing (2018); and the National Society of Arts and Letters Hegarty Award for Short Fiction (2017).
She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from St. Lawrence University in 2015, and her M.F.A. in 2018 from Indiana University – Bloomington, where she served as editor of Indiana Review.
The author is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Yang will celebrate the new release with a reading, Q&A, and book signing at Roots Brewing in Oneonta on Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. Following her book launch, Yang will have a reading at Union College and participate in Hartwick’s Visiting Writer’s Series in November.