A former English teacher and journalist, Johnnie Bernhard’s work has been published by The Mississippi Press, Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, Southern Literary Review, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. She is the owner of Bernhard Editorial Services, LLC. Her novel, A Good Girl, received top ten finalist recognition in the 2015 Wisdom-Faulkner Competition and is a finalist in the 2017 national Kindle Book Awards.
2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 4
The Past is Never Past: Writing Female Characters Who Mine Their Pasts to Forge Their Own Paths in the Present
4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Monday Nights: Stories from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans (editor)
Gracey Reiter confronts a painful past and an intimidating future with the approaching death of her father, Henry Mueller, the self-described “last Mohican” from the chaotic gene pool known as the Walsh-Mueller family. The present holds the answer, and the last opportunity for Gracey to understand her father’s alcoholism, her mother’s infidelity, and her siblings’ version of the truth.
The voices of the past give Gracey the courage to find her voice. Using biting humor and gut-level truths for the first time in her life, Gracey walks across the land mines created by a crippling family legacy.
Henry’s funeral and the Irish wedding of Therese Mueller, Gracey’s and her husband Mark Mueller’s daughter, coincide by a few weeks and serve as a completion of the family circle. With the closing of one door, and the opening of the future, Gracey finds forgiveness by realizing six generations of the Walsh-Mueller family, saints and sinners, criminals and heroes, the abandoned and the celebrated, are forever family, forever bound by blood and the dreams of an Irish girl, Patricia Walsh Mueller.
A Good Girl examines the numbing work of raising children and burying parents through six generations.
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