Excellence at Work | Christopher Barzak

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Christopher Barzak, a fiction writer and a Creative Writing professor at Youngstown State University, talks about his book “The Gone Away Place.”

In the book a small town is destroyed by a series of tornadoes, leaving the town with paranormal reminders of the lives taken. Barzak, a Kinsman native, was inspired by the 1985 tornado outbreak that hit Trumbull County.

The book was written in 2018, but it has seen a resurgence over the last year. The book is apart of the Choose to Read Ohio’s selection, which is a series of books librarians and teachers encourage students to read.

Barzak said the themes of community loss and trauma might have played a role in the book catching added attention over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Suddenly the book made sense to people even though it came a couple of years before the pandemic,” Barzak says.

For more of the Excellence at Work happening at YSU, visit YSU.edu.

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