Ryan Kenedy, "The Blameless" (U Wisconsin Press, 2023)


In Ryan Kenedy’s debut novel, The Blameless (University of Wisconsin Press 2023 ) we meet Virginia, an exhausted adjunct professor and divorced mother of an autistic five-year-old, whose father only takes him for one weekend a month. Virginia is lonely and struggling to make a living as an adjunct professor of English. When she learns that the man who murdered her father has been released from prison despite a life sentence, she decides to confront him and mete out his just punishment. She traces Travis Hilliard to a remote place in the Mojave Desert. He’s inherited his uncle’s trailer on an isolated strip of land and is trying to rebuild his life outside of prison. Because Virginia doesn’t have anyone to care for her little boy, she brings him along for the confrontation.

Ryan Kenedy was born and raised in the working-class neighborhoods of California's Central Valley. He holds an MFA in fiction writing from California State University, Fresno, and has taught writing and literature for over twenty-five years, both as an adjunct instructor and as a tenured faculty member. He currently teaches at Moorpark College. His short fiction is forthcoming in the North Dakota Quarterly and has appeared in North American Review, The Greensboro Review, Sou'wester, and The San Joaquin Review. His debut collection of short fiction, Don’t Let Them Fall, will be published in 2025 by Johns Hopkins University Press. When he’s not teaching or writing, Ryan likes strumming his Gibson guitar and watching the Dodgers on television, biking and kayaking with his wife of twenty-eight years, visiting his son in the heart of New York City, and hiking the forest trails of Washington State. As a volunteer with Alpha USA, Ryan creates opportunities for community members to engage in honest conversations about some of life's biggest questions.

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