Mary Kuryla at AWP 2021 Conference & Bookfair
Saturday, March 6, 2021: I served as a panelist on Screenwriting: Building a Scaffold for Character and Plot
Sunday, March 7, 2021: I served as moderator on Adaptation: Navigating YA Waters in Film and Television
“Hive” by Mary Kuryla appears in the Spring 2021 Issue of The Paris Review
Weary of rundown motels and long nights sleeping in her mother’s car, Olya wants nothing more than a home. It seems she might finally find one with Jack, her mother’s cousin who lives in a tumbledown ranch in Southern California’s Inland Empire. But safety is not all that it seems.
Away to Stay burns with the urgency of its young narrator who bears witness to a world of desperate people flailing inside a broken system. Olya’s mother Irina is a Russian émigré and self-serving liar, obsessed with becoming a prima ballerina and stalking Mikhail Baryshnikov. Cousin Jack is haunted by demons from the Afghanistan war—and the oft-absent Irina. Jack turns his obsession onto his untrainable dog named Bird that he kidnapped from the Riverside Police Department. To Olya, Bird is Job on four legs. Away to Stay is an off-beat and probing exploration of the precarity of shelter and home in the life of an immigrant and American working family.
Away to Stay is sinuous and zizzy, cinematic and beguiling. Mary Kuryla brings us news of our shared precarity, our brutal and borrowed world.Noy Holland, author of Bird
“Away to Stay is a tense, propulsive, and thrillingly subjective coming-of-age story, with gorgeous prose and slippery characters that will stick with you.”J. Ryan Stradal, author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota
“Kuryla has an unflinching eye for the dark strangeness of domestic life and her ravishing prose only deepens the provocation. Away to Stay is a powerful and stunningly original book.”Lexi Freiman, author of Inappropriation
A TCM Presents Women Make Film Discussion in Collaboration with Loyola Marymount University¹s School of Film and Television In this touching conversation, TCM host Alicia Malone is joined by Janet Yang, Mary Kuryla and Susan Seidelman as they discuss stories and share insight into their personal experiences as female filmmakers. Susan also shares stories about the making of her groundbreaking film Smithereens (1982).
“Repair” appeared in Witness: The Magic Issue, Spring 2020
AGNI 90 features Mary Kuryla’s short story, “How to Blow Up a Beaver Lodge,” from her work-in-progress, The Onawayans, a novel-in-documents based on events recorded by Kuryla’s stepfather.
“In Freak Weather: Stories, you won’t find women who make the safest or the most calculated choices. But they’ll make their own choices, and they’ll tell you why. Mary Kuryla is a master of narrative voice. The stories in this collection are built and undercut by the tough, unflinching women who tell them. Amy Hempel selected Freak Weather for the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction. I spoke with Kuryla about her inimitable characters, her revision process, and why a snake had to be a snake and not a metaphor, and much more.”