upstreet Fiction Editor Robin Oliveira has signed a contract for her novel, My Name is Mary Sutter, with Kathryn Court at Viking Penguin. The contract, for an undisclosed sum, was described as “the deal of the week” by Publishers Marketplace, calling the deal “a pre-empt,” which is a situation in which a publisher especially eager to get a book offers a large enough advance to make an immediate deal.
Set in the mid-19th century, Robin’s novel follows the aspirations and difficulties of a brilliant, somewhat odd, yet remarkable young midwife from Albany, NY, whose lofty hope of becoming a surgeon far exceeds what her family and the physicians and medical schools of her time are willing to accept. She travels to Washington, DC, to work in the Civil War hospitals, only to find the challenges formidable and the pull of home unavoidable. A chapter of the novel, which is scheduled for June 2010 publication, appeared in the July 2008 issue of Provincetown Arts magazine.
In 2007, Robin won the $10,000 15th annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship, awarded to an American author of a first-novel-in-progress by the James Jones Literary Society and Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Born in Albany, NY, in 1954, she earned a BA in Russian from the University of Montana and continued to study at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow, USSR. She became a Registered Nurse, and then worked as a bone marrow transplant and cardiac care nurse in Seattle before earning an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2006. She has been Fiction Editor for upstreet three, four, and the upcoming five, which will be released in late June of this year. Robin lives in Seattle with her husband, Andrew Oliveira, their daughter, Noelle, and their son, Miles.