Elena Passarello to read from “Let Me Clear My Throat” on Nov. 30


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Acclaimed essayist and new Oregon State University faculty member Elena Passarello will read from her debut collection, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” on Friday, Nov. 30.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Journey Room on the OSU campus. A book signing will follow.

From Farinelli, the 18-century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of “Johnny B. Goode” affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, “Let Me Clear My Throat” explores unforgettable moments in the history of the human voice. It is published by Sarabande Books.

John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of “Pulphead,” said “The beauty of Elena Passarello’s voice is that it's so confidently its own. She’s not selling her subjects. She writes with the kind of calm assumption of interest you make in a good friend (if a good listener) over dinner.”

Passarello’s writing on music, performance, pop culture, and the natural world has appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, the Normal School, Ninth Letter, the Iowa Review, and the 2012 music writing anthology “Pop When the World Falls Apart.”

For the past decade, Passarello has spent time acting, teaching, and claimed first prize in the 2011 Stella! Shout Out screaming contest in New Orleans.

A graduate of the writing programs at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Iowa, Passarello was born in Charleston, S.C., and grew up in a small town in Georgia called Snellville (official motto: “Where Everybody’s Somebody”). She now lives in Corvallis, where she is an assistant professor of English.

The Literary Northwest Series is co-sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.