Mary Helen Stefaniak

Thank you, Terese Svoboda for The Cailiffs in your "Top 10 Read in 2010"

February 1, 2011

Tags: Terese Svoboda, Dzanc Books

"Top 10 Read in 2010" by Terese Svoboda
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2011 AT 12:00PM
During the first month of 2011, Dzanc Books will be sharing a number of "Best of 2010" lists written by our authors, our editors, and other affiliated folks. Today's list comes from Terese Svoboda, author of Pirate Talk or Mermalade.

Top 10 Read in 2010
Mary Helen Stefaniak, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, novel: the voice keeps grabbing Realism and twisting its ear!

Reading at Andalusia

February 1, 2011

Reading from my novel in Flannery O’Connor’s dining room at Andalusia was unlike any thing I’ve ever done before: standing at the podium in one corner of the dining room, the big oak dining table pushed against the fireplace to make room for rows of motley chairs, with a few lucky (more…)

After Nashville & North Carolina, Andalusia here I come!

October 16, 2010

Tags: Southern Festival of Books, McIntyre's, Flyleaf, Quail Ridge, UNC, Andalusia, Milledgeville

After reading with Amy Greene at the Southern Book Festival in Nashville on Oct 9 and making a whirlwind tour of North Carolina that included three beautiful bookstores--McIntyre's in Fearrington Village, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, and Quail Ridge in Raleigh--I joined forces with Randall Kenan and our mutual editor Alane Mason at the Center (more…)

The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia is an Indie Next pick

August 14, 2010

Tags: Indiebound, Indie Next, powells, Marquette, Phi Beta Kappa

Independent bookstores around the country have chosen The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, as an Indie Next pick for September! It will be featured in the September IndieBound newsletter in bookstores and online. It will also be featured in September, with a story-behind-the-novel essay, at

Only a few weeks remain (more…)

Reading on the loveliest corner in Omaha

June 2, 2010

Tags: Omaha, Duchesne, Cailiffs, Theo Boykin, Baghdad, Georgia

If you’d like to know why Georgia and Baghdad occur together on the cover and in the pages of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, you can watch a quick and casual video of the author (me) talking about the book on the red stone steps at the corner of the Duchesne high school campus, with the crab apple trees in full bloom behind me and only the occasional passing car to compete with. In a second short video made in the same spot, I only stumble once while reading a little bit about Theo Boykin from the book. Search for Stefaniak on YouTube.

Readings coming up in September and October

June 2, 2010

Tags: Flannery O'Connor, Andalusia, Next Chapter Books, Boswell Bookshop, Prairie Lights, Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, Milledgeville, Milwaukee, Iowa City

I have to tell you that I'm extremely excited at the prospect of reading from The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia in Flannery O'Connor's historic home at Andalusia, in Milledgeville, GA, on October 18th. You may or may not know that my mother attended Peabody High School in Milledgeville with (Mary) Flannery O'Connor. (more…)

I just received the galleys of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia!

April 18, 2010

A bound galley--complete with cover design--was in my mailbox Friday, the ultimate proof that my "vivid, continuous dream" of a novel is really a book that may find its way into other people's hands (and maybe their vivid dreams as well). Once again, I'm grateful, humbled, hopeful, and just plain thrilled. I'm probably not (more…)

April 14th Wednesday Words at the Nebraska Arts Council

April 15, 2010

It was a pleasure to read from The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia to a great lunchtime audience at the headquarters of the Nebraska Arts Council, 1004 Farnam Street, in Omaha. The thirty or so people filling the tables and extra chairs laughed in all the right places, much to my delight, while I (more…)

Talking with the Eclectic Book Club of Omaha

March 22, 2010

Tags: book club, Cailiffs, Boykin, Spivey, Georgia

On Tuesday, March 16, after a lunch of corned beef and cabbage at the Omaha Field Club, I had the pleasure of visiting with more than sixty members of the Eclectic Book Club of Omaha. (Thank you, Jane, for the invitation!) I gave them a preview of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia,which will be out in September, by reading a few short passages--introducing them to Miss Spivey, handsome Force Cailiff, and the ingenious Theo Boykin, smartest person in Piedmont County--and by talking about how I came to put "Baghdad" and "Georgia" together in my novel. I was surprised to meet (more…)

Selected Works

A hidden history of the South emerges when a worldly teacher leads Threestep, GA, to reinvent itself, setting in motion events that lead to triumph and tragedy for a black teenager who happens to be the smartest person in Piedmont County, Georgia.
Hilarious and moving, a masterful debut novel about a Milwaukee immigrant family's secret history.
Short Fiction
"Every story I have ever written is in some sense an argument with Flannery O'Connor, as well as a tribute to her. This story happens to be the only one that mentions her by name."
Short stories by Nebraska writers edited by Ladette Randolph, with an introduction by Mary Pipher
Fiction (short stories)
In these nine stories, “the familiar world is both funnier and sadder than it seems.”
--Kalamazoo Gazette
Creative Non-Fiction
A rich and comprehensive collection of literary writings about the Midwest.