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CSU Channel Islands Writer Kristin FitzPatrick to Discuss Recent Book, ‘My Pulse is an Earthquake’

Kristin FitzPatrick

A Japanese ballerina is pressured to take the place of her more talented cousin after the cousin is lost in the 1995 Kobe earthquake. A policewoman bonds with a shooting victim to alleviate her grief over a lost little sister and a husband who disappeared.

These are just two of the nine tales in My Pulse is an Earthquake, a collection of short stories by Kristin FitzPatrick, an English lecturer at CSU Channel Islands

FitzPatrick’s book, as well as a work of fiction set in 1930s Oklahoma called The Barber’s Wife by Tanya Nichols, will be discussed from 7–10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, during the latest in CI’s “English Speaker Series,” a season of lectures from compelling, award-winning authors.

Written by CSU Fresno English lecturer Nichols, The Barber’s Wife is about protagonist Mayme Holloway who helps outlaws like Pretty Boy Floyd, who trust her medical expertise and her silence.

FitzPatrick’s book explores grief in many forms through stories set in 1970 to the present day. Her characters include dog breeders, immigrants, Catholic school delinquents, rookie policewomen, drummers, ballerinas, teenage brides, and an accountant who keeps a careful inventory of losses

FitzPatrick said she wrote the stories one at a time, and it wasn’t until she pulled them all together that she realized they had the common theme of grief and loss.

“I want people to take away from this book the feeling of having dived in deep and swum around in someone else’s life — not just through the loss and grief but through the joy and mystery, too — the way you would with an old friend,” she said.

The English Speaker Series seeks authors who are innovative and varied. Assistant Professor of English Sean Carswell, Ph.D., who launched the series, chose FitzPatrick’s book because of her skill and the message she conveyed with her work.

“Her stories are often about outsiders with a rich and subtle well of inner strength,” Carswell said. “Her latest collection was released this past September. I’m excited for this opportunity to showcase her talents.”

The presentation, which will be in Del Norte Hall room 1500 on the CI campus, will include readings, a discussion and book-signings.

Limited parking is available on campus with the purchase of a $6 daily permit; follow signs to the parking permit dispensers. Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road with bus service to and from the campus. 

Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at

— Kim Gregory is a communications specialist representing CSU Channel Islands.

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