"I find myself laughing out loud, or silenced in awe of the language, and at times the poetry of the moments just knocks the wind out of me." ~Tree Trimmer
"Pure poetry." ~Artist
"One of the most innovative pieces of literature I've read in the past several years. This novel will evoke profound emotion in all but the most jaded reader." ~Writer
"Many parts were so tingly good they were almost painful. Over and over, I had to stop reading, put the book down, and catch my breath before I could go on." ~Retired Eighth-Grade English Teacher
"Poetry in prose...artistically arranged structure and use of words...a unique and highly enjoyable read." ~Physician
"'I liked your book' ain't a patch on it. Thanks for the best reading experience I've had in years. Please, do it again!" ~Excerpt from a reader's note mailed to the author shortly after the book's publication (It's been on her fridge ever since.)
A foreign-adventurist with chronic and gravitational home-soil leanings, Joanna Beth Tweedy is from the Illinois Ozarks, where she serves as the founding editor and host of Quiddity, published in partnership with NPR Illinois. A novelist and poet, Tweedy has received honors from Glimmer Train and the Southern Women Writers Conference, among others.
Tweedy has presented widely throughout the United States and internationally on her research interests, which include flourishing, leadership, publishing, linguistic dialects, and writing. Publications include a novel, numerous poems and short stories, as well as academic book chapters and articles in journals related to leadership, publishing, and creative craft.
With degrees in education (BS), English (MA), and values-driven leadership (PhD), Tweedy has served as faculty-in-residence at the University of Illinois and an Associate Professor of Arts & Letters and Dean of Academics at Benedictine University. She currently teaches at WGU and consults for the Center for Values-Driven Leadership.
Having been called "a simmering gumbo of linguistic delicacies...an inventive masterpiece," "a dance that never missteps...absolute in originality and sophistication," and lyricism "that will take you from the bluffs of the Mississippi to the dunes of the Sahara to discover how close to home you always and already are," Tweedy's work has received praise from a variety of well respected literati, including Robert Hellenga, Patrick Carrington, Dan Guillory, and Elaine Fowler Palencia.
Hellenga, best-selling author of The Sixteen Pleasures and numerous novels, says of The Yonder Side, "The prose crackles like a splash of water on a hot skillet and there's a surprise on every page." Of the author, he writes, "Joanna Beth Tweedy has conjured up a world as familiar as childhood memories and as strange as the Sahara."
Novelist, translator, and poet Palencia calls it "High Lyrical Down-home...a novel to read twice." And Carrington, poet and editor of the award-winning journal Mannequin Envy, calls the novel "a rollicking ride of unexpected turns." Of the narrative he writes, "a new voice that is not to be missed, one you'll surely enjoy reading as much as it does speaking to you."
Guillory writes that Tweedy's "style and ubiquitous wordplay seem closer to William Faulkner and James Joyce....Her crush on life reveals itself with linguistic hat tricks on nearly every page....She is a born writer with a gifted ear."
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