December 2013/January 2014's Researcher of the Month:
Dr. Michael Kardos, Associate Professor of English
Michael Kardos is an Associate Professor of English at Mississippi State University and co-director of the creative writing program. His teaching and scholarly interests include creative writing and 20th/21st century American literature.
His first published book of fiction, the story collection One Last Good Time (Press 53, 2011), won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction. The collection chronicles the thirty-year rise and fall of a fictional town on the Jersey Shore. His second book, the novel The Three-Day Affair (Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press, 2012), tells the story of four longtime friends who push the limits of their loyalties and personal ethics in an attempt to undo an accidental crime. The novel received starred reviews in Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and was named a best book of the year by Esquire magazine. Foreign rights to the novel have sold in France and U.K., and the book was recently optioned for film. He is currently at work on a third book of fiction, the novel Big Mad, which is under contract with Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press.
Dr. Kardos’s short stories have appeared in many prestigious journals in his field, including The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Pleiades, PRISM international, and elsewhere, and were cited as notable stories in the 2009, 2010, and 2012 editions of Best American Short Stories. He has been a visiting writer for the Eudora Welty Symposium, the Millsaps College Arts & Lecture Series, the Birmingham Area Consortium of Higher Education, and a number of other colleges and universities across the country.
In addition to his own fiction, Dr. Kardos has published the 2013 college textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction (Bedford/St. Martin’s) as well as essays and articles about fiction technique. He has served in editorial positions on The Journal, The Missouri Review, and, more recently, Mississippi State’s own national literary journal, Jabberwock Review.
Dr. Kardos grew up on the Jersey Shore, received a degree in music theory and composition from Princeton University, and played the drums professionally for a number of years. He has an M.F.A. in fiction from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. He is married to Dr. Catherine Pierce, also an associate professor in the English department and co-director of the creative writing program.