Name: Kirsti Sandy
Hometown: Born in Lowell, Mass.; resident of Chesterfield since 2000
Family: Husband, Scott Herstad, a professor of English at Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts; daughter, Betty Rose Herstad, 9
Occupation: Academic dean of the School of Arts, Education and Culture at Keene State College, as well as professor of English
Education: Bachelor of Arts in English from Rivier College (now university) in Nashua; Master of Arts in English and a Ph.D. in English from Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.
Recent accomplishment: Winner of the 2017 Monadnock Essay Collection Prize, sponsored by Bauhan Publishing in Peterborough for her book, “She Lived, and the Other Girls Died”
Question: What are some of your favorite books?
Answer: “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert. “He created a character who could have lived at any time.” “Peyton Place” by Grace Metalious, based on the author’s New Hampshire hometown of Gilmanton. Scandalous at the time, but very popular, the book is now an eponymous moniker for anyplace with scandal, Sandy says. “Because (Metalious) wasn’t well educated, some thought she hadn’t written it herself. It’s a great book.”
Question: What are some of your favorite essays?
Answer: “Joan Didion’s ‘On Morality,’ is so powerful, her best. It says so much in so few words. Fearless. Then there’s ‘The Boys of My Youth,’ by Jo Ann Beard, which is about Beard’s experience working at a physics journal at a university. That doesn’t sound exciting, but a shooter, a grad student, killed a number of people in the physics department, and this is her story in dealing with that.” (The shooting occurred at the University of Iowa in 1991).