June 29, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Alumni News | Sundberg Publishes Debut Memoir to Rave Reviews

Dr. Kelly Sundberg, author of 'Goodbye, Sweet Girl' poses for an outdoor portrait

Dr. Kelly Sundberg, author of ‘Goodbye, Sweet Girl’

Dr. Kelly Sundberg, a 2018 graduate of OHIO’s Creative Writing Program, published her debut memoir, Goodbye, Sweet Girl, with HarperCollins press.

She earned a Ph.D. in English from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University. She is now a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English Department at Ohio University.

The book, which served as Sundberg’s doctoral dissertation, has received rave reviews from a remarkable number of prominent critics, writers, and publications.

  • “It is a hell of a thing to write about brutality and suffering with strength, grace, generosity and beauty. That’s precisely what Kelly Sundberg has done in her gripping memoir about marriage and domestic violence,” says Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger.
  • “Reading Kelly Sundberg’s writing—fresh, luminous, spirited—is a pleasure second only to witnessing her decision to survive. Goodbye, Sweet Girl is a meditation on what it takes to save your own life,” notes Ariel Levy, who selected Sundberg’s viral essay, “It Will Look Like a Sunset,” for the 2015 Best American Essays
  • Goodbye, Sweet Girl, bursting with such heartfelt, beautifully crafted scenes, is a gift for those who’ve experienced the pain of growing up and out of abusive relationships and a guide for those who seek insight and understanding,” writes Chauna Craig for The New York Journal of Books.
  • “Because of its subject matter, Goodbye, Sweet Girlmight seem difficult to read, but Sundberg’s crystalline prose and insightful narration lighten the reading experience…. [her] story is haunting, propulsive and, perhaps for some readers, familiar. Her wrenching memoir deserves to be read by a wide audience so that we can all learn to recognize the signs of domestic abuse,” remarks Catherine Hollis of BookPage.

Additionally, O Magazine, Elle Magazine, Bustle, and Ms. Magazine have all listed Sundberg’s memoir as one of their top books to read this summer.

blue and black book cover

Sundberg’s successfully placed the memoir with HarperCollins in January 2016, shortly after she finished her doctoral coursework. She received two summer scholarships from OHIO’s English Department, which allowed her to attend writer’s residencies both in Washington state and in Belgium and write “in a structured and supportive setting.”

She also credits her dissertation committee with guiding her through the process of publishing a deeply personal—yet public—debut memoir.

“My dissertation advisor, Dinty W. Moore, was a fantastic guide throughout the process, and it was his, along with the rest of my dissertation committee’s mentorship, that made my time at Ohio University so positive and productive,” she notes.

Sundberg’s work has appeared in Guernica, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review, PANK, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. Goodbye, Sweet Girl is available via HarperCollins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. Additional reviews, along with more information about Sundberg’s work, is available at her website.

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