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Maryanne O’Hara, Emerson class of ’95, has recently published her debut novel, Cascade. She has received attention from the Boston Globe as well as The Library Journal, who named Cascade a “best bet” among upcoming first novels, and Publishers Weekly, who highlighted the novel in its Gallery Talk section. They praised it as “tightly woven” and that it vividly captures “the conflicting emotions that churn behind the human face.”
Cascade’s protagonist is Desdemona Hart Spaulding, daughter of a theater owner who dreams of being a member of the New York art world. Conflict arises when her father’s theater is under threat of being torn down to make room for a man-made lake. Art and the possibility of destruction are themes O’Hara is fascinated by. She says, “I liked this idea that you’re in a place that might be destroyed, and at the same time, you’re trying to create art that you have no idea what will happen to once you die.”
In her time at Emerson, O’Hara was a fiction editor for literary journal Ploughshares. Since then she has published many short stories in magazines and anthologies. Given the positive reviews of her first novel, it will be exciting to follow this Emerson alumna’s career in the future.