Linda Rader Overman, Class of 2014, Creative Writing
When Linda tells people that she was awarded a Ph.D. from Lancaster University*, many in Los Angeles express wonderment as they did not know that such a university even existed in the town of Lancaster, California. So Linda must clarify with “Lancaster, Lancashire in the U.K.” The look of wonderment on their faces expands to “Really?! Wow, that’s awesome.” Now recall that awesome in Hollywood, California speak (where she was born and still resides) equals brilliant in British speak. Indeed, Linda still thinks of those two adjectives when she fondly reflects back on her experiences at University of Cumbria at Lancaster.
Leaving her husband and two children every summer for some four years and getting accustomed to living in a residence hall in her sixtieth decade and creating a life across the Atlantic (across the pond as her Los Angeles friends call it) that Linda had to adjust to demanded a heady measure of patience at first. Sharing a bathroom, sharing a kitchen, sharing wine with noisy fun-loving flat mates reeling with laughter late into the night—all very typical if one were an eighteen year-old freshman experiencing her first time away from home—became less intrusive and far more inclusive over time. So much so that the many friends and bonds made at summer school in Cumbria over that span of years Linda cherishes and misses, still.
She continues teaching, as she was during her PhD studies, in the English Department at her home campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in Los Angeles, one of twenty-three in the public university system in California. CSUN, a commuter campus, is the largest campus in the state system with approximately over 41,000 students.
In addition, Linda writes and publishes essays while working on a couple of new novels, one is a sequel to Letters Between Us (Plain View Press 2008) an epistolary work chronicling a troubled writer's search to understand a friend's mysterious death at a mental institution leading to her own self-discovery and transformation. The other is The Pictures Spoke to Her, a literary novel/memoir in which photos come to life and help raise a young girl.
Two of her essays were recently published, ‘Adiós Margarita Cansino, Hello Rita Hayworth,’ inStarbodies and the Erotics of Suffering by Wayne State Press (2015), and ‘Mestiza consciousness of La Frontera/Borderlands in Sandra Cisneros and Helena María Viramontes’ in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the the American Westby Cambridge Univ Press (2016).
Checkout Linda’s website at lindaraderoverman.com and view the trailer of her novel.
*Lancaster University is the awarding body for the University of Cumbria Research Degree programme.