Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Molly McNett  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Molly McNett on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

McNett is an English professor at Northern Illinois University and lives in Oregon, Illinois. She graduated from Illinois State University with her B. A. and earned her M. A. from Northern Illinois University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Molly McNett received her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She is an instructor of Rhetoric, Composition, English as Second Language at Northern Illinois University. Her work has appeared in ''The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005'', ''Brain Child'' magazine, ''Missouri Review'', ''Black Warrior Review'', ''New England Review'', ''New Letters'', ''Crazyhorse'', and ''Other Voices''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

One Dog Happy (Iowa Short Fiction Award)
ISBN: 158729687X

University Of Iowa Press. 2008

In this award-winning debut collection, Molly McNett couples laugh-out-loud dialogue and wry observation reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor with disquieting strains of dashed hope, troubled sexuality, and disillusionment.

The adults in these stories can seem as hapless and helpless as the younger characters. Two neglected daughters use the language of clothes to cope with their parents’ divorce and their father’s mail-order bride. A young girl’s bizarre sexual fantasies help her gain control over the chaos of her family life. A gang of teenagers accuse a farmer of bestiality. A divorced father tries to create a pony-filled world that might appeal to his daughters. In the title story, Mr. Bob, the minister’s housesitter, loses a dog but finds someone to believe in. And in “Helping,” the darkest story in this amazing collection, Ruthie’s anger conquers her religious faith when she takes care of a severely disabled child.

We meet McNett’s endearing, often foolish characters at a point when their minds are open to manipulation by the people and events around them, and the conclusions they draw are heartbreaking: I am not allowed weakness life treats people unequally perhaps there is no God. Yet throughout they find quiet moments of possibility, courage, and a return to faith and comfort.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)