For the Daily News
This Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Starkville Public Library, Starkville Reads will sponsor a discussion of Greg Mortenson’s acclaimed best-seller “Three Cups of Tea.”
The discussion will be led by Dr. Michael Kardos, assistant professor in the MSU English Department and a published fiction writer.
The discussion will focus not only on the subject matter of the book — Mortenson’s successful attempts to build schools in remote mountain areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan— but also on the book’s themes, characters, and settings.
This discussion will be interactive, so you are encouraged to bring your copies of the book and plan to join in. Those who have not yet read or completed the book are encouraged to attend.
Kardos received graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in music from Princeton University, a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the Ohio State University, and a doctoral degree in English from the University of Missouri.
He joined the faculty of the MSU English Department in 2007, where he teaches creative writing as well as courses in the American short story, the craft of fiction and advanced composition. He is co-director of the creative writing program in the MSU English Department.
His short stories have appeared widely in such publications as Fiction International, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review and Short Story.
His story “Perfect Cake,” originally published in 2007, will be included in the 2010 MSR Short Fiction Anthology to be published later this year.
A collection of short stories entitled “One Last Good Time: Stories” is forthcoming in 2011. He has also published essays and book reviews.
Kardos has received many awards, including being a finalist in the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Award, in the Flannery O’Connor Award in 2007, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in 2007 and receiving first place Fiction Prize four times from the University of Missouri.
Kardos is currently the editor of the MSU English Department’s Jabberwock Review, which publishes outstanding student work, and has served as guest editor and associate editor for journals such as Crazyhorse and The Journal.
He has also given numerous readings of his work and currently is one of three judges for the MSU Maroon Edition’s Essay Contest.
In September 2007, he was a panelist for Starkville Reads’ Program entitled “So You Want to Write?”
Nancy Hargrove, president of Starkville Reads and one of Michael’s colleagues in the English Department before her retirement, said “Mike is a not only a very gifted writer of short fiction but also an engaging speaker who will skillfully lead the audience through an enlightening discussion of the book.”
Hargrove said she encourages those with an interest in this impressive book to attend the program, whether or not they were able to attend Shaz Akram’s program on the culture of Pakistan and Afghanistan, noting that her program and Kardos’s discussion of the book provide a great background for Greg Mortenson’s talk on the Mississippi State campus on Sept. 23.
Those wishing to contribute to Starkville Reads, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to promoting books and reading in the Starkville community and surrounding areas, may mail a tax deductible check to Starkville Reads, P.O. Box 80100, Starkville, MS 39759 or bring it to the September 14 program.
Consult the website at http://www.starkvillereads.org  for further information about all of our programs this fall.