"Bells for Eli" has been named the Gold Medal Winner in the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) for Best First Book - Fiction
IN THE NEWS
As an English teacher for 33 years, Susan Beckham Zurenda knows that well, and her debut novel, Bells for Eli, delivers a haunting coming-of-age narrative, a destroyed Southern childhood, forbidden love, and a tragic twist. Think of a Tennessee Williams story that takes place in the ’60s and ’70s.
After teaching literature, composition, and creative writing to thousands of high school and college students for 33 years, Susan turned her attention to putting a novel in her heart on paper, the genesis of which started with a short story that won a fiction prize some years ago. She is delighted to present her debut novel, Bells for Eli, to readers on March 2, 2020. During her years of teaching at Spartanburg Community College and then as an AP English teacher at Spartanburg High School, Susan published short stories and won numerous regional awards such as the South Carolina Fiction Prize (twice), the Porter Fleming Competition, The Southern Writers Symposium Emerging Writers Fiction Contest, The Hub City Hardegree Contest in Fiction, Alabama Conclave First Novel Chapter Contest, and The Jubilee Writing Competition (twice). Since 2018, she has published six stories in literary magazines.
Photo by Anna Beckham Photography
Mary Beth Kosowski
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