Fairfield University Alumna, Mary Donnarumma Sharnick ‘73, discusses award-winning novel


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 7, 2016) — Connecticut Press Club Award-winning author, Mary Donnarumma Sharnick, will discuss her latest novel, Orla’s Canvas, as part of the Inspired Writer Series at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and is presented by the University’s Office of Alumni Relations, Lifelong Learning program and the MFA in Creative Writing.

Orla’s Canvas, Sharnick’s first book with Penmore Press,is a coming-of-age taleabout a young female artist set against the backdrop of Civil Rights-era New Orleans. The brutality Orla witnesses during this tumultuous period awakens her to life’s fragility. Smart, resilient and fiercely determined to make sense of her pain, she paints chaos into beauty, while discovering herself through her art.

Hailed by critics as “a gripping look into a historic moment in American culture and a poignant coming of age story readers won't forget," Orla’s Canvas took First Place in the Novel-for-Adults category in the 2016 Connecticut Press Club Communications Contest and was awarded third place in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2016 competition.

A native of Connecticut, Sharnick graduated from Fairfield University in 1973 with a degree in English and earned a master’s degree from Trinity College, Hartford. Her father, Carmen Donnarumma, was one of Fairfield University’s founding faculty members and an Emeritus Professor in Politics. Her first two Venetian novels, Thirst (2012) and Plagued (2014), were released by Fireship Press, and at the present, she is drafting a sequel to Orla's Canvas. Mary currently teaches writing and chairs the English Department at Chase Collegiate School, Waterbury, Connecticut.

Pictured: Mary Donnarumma Sharnick who is discussing her latest book, Orla's Canvas, on November 17 at the Fairfield University Bookstore; Courtesy: Mary Donnarumma Sharnick.

 Vol. 49, No. 67

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Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Posted on November 15, 2016

Vol. 49, No. 67

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