Susan ConleyA lot of people have written memoirs about living abroad. A lot of people have penned about motherhood. And if you check the shelves at Barnes & Noble, you’ll find a lot of biographies written by people dealing with cancer. But Susan Conley has written about all three…in one book.

Conley, her husband, and two sons moved from Maine to Beijing in 2007 in time for the build-up to the 2008 Olympics. Just as they were settling in, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned to the States for treatment and then rejoined her family in China. That would drive a lot of people crazy; it drove Conley to write a best-selling book titled The Foremost Good Fortune, which was picked as a Top 10 Read for February 2011 by O, The Oprah Magazine.

We at the SDSU Library have the foremost good fortune of cohosting a reading by Conley on March 3 at 7 p.m. in Room LL430. Like all the Hugh Hyde Series events, it’s free and open to all.

Actually, this is something of a homecoming for Conley; she is an SDSU MFA graduate in poetry. She’s also the cofounder and executive director of the Telling Room, a writer’s workshop and literary hub for the southern Maine area. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Harvard Review, and Ploughshares.

I hope you’ll attend this reading. We all could learn a lot from Conley…about writing, about China, and about plowing through the hard times with grace.