Teaching and Speaking
I'm happy to meet with classes and book clubs, onsite or online.
If you're a high school or college teacher, In the Lonely Backwater has many possibilities for classroom discussions around nature and taxonomy, gender nonperformance, fiction writing, and sailing.
"Ultimately, the novel comes to a conclusion that continues to haunt me. It's a pleasure to recommend this riveting, psychologically complex, and beautifully detailed novel." Small Press Picks
"In addition to being a powerful story of how a teenage girl can save her own life, it is also a meditation on how to re-create your world if you find it lacking in any category that can possibly include you." Marjorie Hudson on Goodreads
For college classes or book clubs looking for something a bit different ...
Ed Davis writes: "Valerie Nieman's new novel almost makes me wish I were still an English professor so I could teach the book. A mash-up of genre and literary, To the Bones (WVU Press, 2019) has something for every taste in this rollicking ride of a read... If she can please twenty-something college students yearning for a new take on their anti-heroes, plus simultaneously satisfy their professor's penchant for literary fiction, that's quite an accomplishment." The book has elements of horror, mystery, Appalachian folk tale in its DNA.
"...Nieman's narrative is appealingly roguish and poignant. But we can also see it as an American parable in poetry, a combination of Huckleberry Finn and Nathaniel Hawthorne's story "The Birthmark." You ponder race, class, suffering, spirituality, history, and identity as you fall under the Leopard Lady's spell. This book is, as the sideshow banner says, ALIVE." — Jeanne Julian in Main Street Rag, Vol. 24, No. 1, Winter 2019
"Steeped in sideshow tradition, and addressing issues of race, gender, self-concept, and creative expression, your book is beautifully written." — The Coney Island Museum
For subsidiary and foreign rights - Nordlyset Literary Agency