Ellen Prentiss Campbell

The recipient of fellowships in 2009, 2010 and 2012 at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, her fiction has placed in competitions including The Iron Horse Fiction Collection Contest and The Hunger Mountain Short Fiction Contest. 

Ellen holds an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars, an MSW from Simmons College, and a BA from Smith College.  As a child, Ellen dictated stories before she could write, and remembers the disappointment of learning to read and still being unable to crack the cursive code of her grandmother’s letters. Both as a writer and a social worker, she seeks the story between the lines. 

Ellen lives with her husband in Rockville, Maryland, in an old house with stories of its own – walking distance from the library and the swimming pool, two of her favorite places. She often writes on an old farm on Glade Pike in Bedford County, Pennsylvania and has completed a collection of stories set in the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania. Her novel-in-progress takes place in a resort hotel in the region.

 


37 entries by Ellen Prentiss Campbell

Book Review

Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine: A Novel

By Klara Hveberg; translated by Alison McCullough

A challenging, complex story of mathematics and misery.

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The perils and pleasures of wanting to learn a language.

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The pleasure of discussing books with my hairdresser.

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Lucia

By Alex Pheby

This novelized portrait of James Joyce’s real-life daughter is a somber, difficult read.

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Reading to others all but guarantees focus.

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Email can’t replace the magic of snipping out stories.

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Why I’ve come around to the idea of joining a book group.

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On the slow, methodical progress of sweaters and stories.

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Culling a home library takes fortitude (and flexibility).

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Remembering a dear friend and the many books we shared.

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Jack: A Novel

By Marilynne Robinson

Whether or not you’ve read Gilead, the author’s latest work is a balm for the soul.

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Book Review

The Snakes

By Sadie Jones

A family-drama-turned-thriller that coils readers in a helix of terror.

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My process for finding the perfect title.

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Favorite childhood tales feel like long-lost friends right now.

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The Night Watchman: A Novel

By Louise Erdrich

This affecting story probes the historical record for a narrative that is at once tender and hopeful.

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The Dutch House: A Novel

By Ann Patchett

Beleaguered siblings wonder if there's really no place like home.

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The Snakes: A Novel

By Sadie Jones

A family-drama-turned-thriller that coils readers in a helix of terror.

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Normal People: A Novel

By Sally Rooney

Irish millennials move endlessly together and apart in this sometimes slow tale of love, class, and growing up.

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This award-winning (though dark) collection feels tailor-made for our divisive times.

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Circe: A Novel

By Madeline Miller

An imaginative, intoxicating retelling of Homer's Iliad.

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Read this one as children do: with eyes and heart open, giving in, ready to be swept away.

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What We Lose: A Novel

By Zinzi Clemmons

An emotionally charged tale of grief, rage, and the resilience of the human spirit

Book Review

Mexico: Stories

By Josh Barkan

Dark tales of people in crisis by a talented and versatile writer.

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The Muse: A Novel

By Jessie Burton

A dual narrative on the pains of war and the healing capacity of art.

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The Lost Child

By Caryl Phillips

Explore the plight of the outsider in this novel, which re-imagines Wuthering Heights and links it to a modern story of exile and difference.

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Bliss House

Laura Benedict

Looking for a fresh start in a crumbling Victorian mansion, a mother and her daughter find tragedy and a secret from the past that continues to haunt the present.

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Frog Music: A Novel

By Emma Donoghue

A whodunit page-turner set against the backdrop of 19th-century San Francisco.

Book Review

All stories are fiction, as the saying goes. Facts are shaped by the observer.

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Dark Lies the Island

Kevin Barry

Unease, violence and darkness run through this short-story collection, the latest work by the award-winning Irish author.

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A novel exploring the value and meaning of the human endeavor to heal and to rescue.

Book Review

Flora

Gail Godwin

A tragic childhood summer haunts a woman years later.

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The Burgess Boys

Elizabeth Strout

Three adult siblings are forced to reassess their assumptions and beliefs about personal history and identity when a teenager’s actions throw the family into crisis.

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Artful

Ali Smith

How art, especially literature, illuminates life and love.

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Leah Stewart

A novel exploring the delicate dilemmas of family life, and how our roots both clip our wings and sustain us.

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Chico Buarque

An elderly man on his deathbed recounts a passionate life of love and loss, in a tale that’s poetically told and steeped in Brazilian culture.