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Lee Cole on 'Groundskeeping' and the push and pull of his old Kentucky home

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Ariel Katz
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courtesy Penguin Random House
Lee Cole is the author of "Groundskeeping"

Set in Kentucky in the months leading up to and immediately following the 2016 presidential election, Groundskeeping is the story of love, class, and identity. Owen returns to Kentucky after working a Colorado forestry job. He finds employment as a groundskeeper at a small college, which allows him to take one class each semester. That’s where he meets Alma, a visiting writer-in-residence who faces her own challenges as a Bosnian immigrant. Together their stories add up to a fantastic debut novel by Lee Cole. I recently spoke with Cole about Groundskeeping. Here’s our conversation.

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Groundskeeping by Lee Cole was published by Knopf.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.