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October 17, 2013 — University of Wyoming faculty member Nina McConigley has published a collection of short stories set in Wyoming that explores the immigrant experience and the collisions of cultures in the American West.
“Cowboys and East Indians,” published by FiveChapters Books, is being met with positive reviews from a variety of publications and authors.
“Nina McConigley crafts out of the Wyoming landscape a West few readers have known before -- a place where, when you don’t look like everyone else, there aren’t many places to hide. And, yet, anyone who has ever felt a complicated kind of love for home, country and family will find pleasure and wisdom in these stunning stories,” wrote Eleanor Henderson, author of the New York Times best-selling book “Ten Thousand Saints.”
McConigley, an assistant lecturer in UW’s Department of English, was born in Singapore to Irish and Indian parents, and grew up in Casper. She holds a master’s degree in English from UW, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Houston, and a bachelor’s degree in literature from St. Olaf College.
“Several stories in the book began in my M.A. thesis here at UW, and some of the first creative writing classes I took were here at UW,” McConigley says. “So, it feels like I’ve come full circle to be teaching here while the book is being published.
“Here, at UW, I teach an Indian short story class. So, it’s exciting, with this book, to join with other Asian-American writers I respect and admire in talking about the Indian experience in America.”
McConigley has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the “Best American New Voices,” and her play, “Owen Wister Considered,” was produced in 2005 for the Edward Albee New Playwrights Festival. She was the 2010 recipient of the Wyoming Arts Council’s Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award and was a finalist for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction and the Asian American Literary Review, among others.
While teaching at UW, she is at work on a novel.