(The daughter of a college football coach, Kerry Madden-Lu...)
The daughter of a college football coach, Kerry Madden-Lunsford grew up in a series of hometowns, transplanted from one place to the next with the changing of the football season, uprooted from childhood friends with almost no warning. It is this hectic, whirlwind lifestyle which Madden-Lunsford draws upon in writing her first novel, Offsides. Adored by Diane Keaton, who praised it as "a tremendously funny and touching book," Offsides captures the bittersweet humor behind a girl's coming-of-age under unusual circumstances, in a world where last season's clothes are traded in for new ones in the latest team colors, where the "coacheswives" plan fashion shows to boost team spirit, and where the coaches--fathers and husbands--make only irregular appearances. Bristling with sharp humor and keen, detailed perception, Offsides is more than the story of an intelligent, thoughtful girl; it is about challenge of growing up and the yearning for a life outside the one we are born into. It is a novel which strongly evokes the spirit of the football world, where life centers around winning the big game, and where people find unusual ways to deal with the intricacies of growing up.
("A tremendously funny and touching book. I really loved i...)
"A tremendously funny and touching book. I really loved it." —Diane Keaton Kerry Madden-Lunsford's fresh, often hilarious, debut novel presents a bittersweet and unforgettable tale of adolescence. On the surface, the Donegals seem the picture-perfect norm of a nuclear family in the 1970s. But seen through the eyes of Liz Donegal, her world teeters on the brink of disintegration. Liz's father, an assistant college football coach, uproots his family annually with the motivational compassion of "Get your ass in the car." Her brothers Joe-Sam and Leo, whose first words are "hut, hut, hike," and sister, Peaches, a wannabe cheerleader, pick apart their lives and tentatively pull together in whatever town they land in, whether it's Bobcat Country or Shark Territory. While chaos reigns within the Donegal household, outside the family dog Halfback is busy digging up his predecessor Bear Bryant. At the center of this remarkable cast of characters, Liz creates a world for herself spun out of best friends, books, secret glimpses at sex manuals, and a few adults who actually understand what it means to grow up "offsides." Fostered by the creativity of her aunt Betty and uncle Peter, Liz first glimpses life beyond football games and Catholic school. When she isn't busy rebelling, singing Lou Reed songs, or transforming herself into Helen Keller or Anne Frank, Liz is falling in love, discovering herself, and learning that life also has some painful lessons.
Student, University Manchester, England, 1983. Bachelor, University Tennessee, 1984. Master of Fine Arts, University Tennessee, 1986.
Voice and diction teacher University Tennessee, Knox, 1984-1986. English and drama teacher Ningbo (China) University, 1986-1987. English as Second Language, speech and writing teacher Los Angeles Unified School District/Garfield Adult School, East Los Angeles, California, 1989-1995.
Creative writing teacher Volunteer-Teen Moms, since 1992. Guest playwright-in-schools Audrey Skarball-Kenis, Los Angeles, since 1998. Teacher Sewanee (Tennessee) Young Writers Conference, summers since 1997.
Volunteer TeenMoms, since 1992. Volunteer creative writing teacher Los Angeles elementary schools, since 1994. Member American Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association West, Authors Guild.
Married Alfred Kiffen Lunsford, September 22, 1986. Children: Flannery, Lucy, Norah.