Photo Credit Wendy Madar

Photo Credit Wendy Madar

Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have been published in Oxford American, SlateCreative Nonfiction, and The Iowa Review, among other publications, as well as in the 2015 anthologies Cat is Art Spelled Wrong and After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essay.

Passarello has performed in several regional theaters in the East and Midwest, originating roles in the premieres of Christopher Durang’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge and David Turkel’s Wild Signs and Holler. In 2011, she became the first woman winner of the annual Stella Screaming Contest in New Orleans. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University.

This phenomenal collection documents the lives of particular animals from a wide range of species. . . . Passarello treats her subjects with dextrous care, weaving narratives together in a way that investigates, honors, and complicates her subjects. . . . Passarello has created a consistently original, thoroughly researched, altogether fascinating compendium.
— Booklist, Starred Review
Stunning. . . . Passarello’s keen wit is on display throughout as she raises questions about the uniqueness of humans. . . . A feast of surprising juxtapositions and gorgeous prose.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review