Authors Edmund White and Michael Carroll will read from their work and take questions from the audience on Tuesday, October 14, 6:00 pm in Taylor Hall, room 203. This literary event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Department of English and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
White and Carroll collaborated on the suspense story “Excavation” for the 2011 story and poetry anthology, New Jersey Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Their extensive combined bodies of work include novels, memoirs, and short stories, including prominent writing on gay subjects.
White, who teaches writing at Princeton University, is the author of 25 books, including a biography of the French writer Jean Genet for which he won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. White has written several novels, including an autobiographical trilogy—A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony—which documents a boy’s coming of age and the experience of being gay in the 1950s. His most recent published works of fiction are Chaos and Hotel de Dream and Jack Holmes and His Friend and a recent non-fiction book is City Boy, a memoir about New York in the 1970s. His memoir, Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris, came out in 2014. White is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters, and a winner of the France-Amérques award.
The University of Wisconsin Press published Carroll’s first short story collection, Little Reef and Other Stories, in June. The author Colm Tóibín said of the book, “The dialogue is pitch-perfect. Little Reef and Other Stories will, of course, appeal to gay readers, but it will also appeal to people who like good writing.” His work has appeared in Boulevard, Ontario Review, Southwest Review, The Yale Review, Open City and Animal Shelter, as well as in such anthologies as The New Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories. Carroll interviewed Ann Beattie and Wells Tower for the Chattahoochee Review, where he is New York Editor. Born in Memphis, Carroll grew up in northern Florida and lives in New York. He has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer, a waiter, a janitor, a writer’s assistant and a college instructor.
Amitava Kumar, Professor of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair, notes that White and Carroll’s appearance at Vassar is nicely timed with the annual William Starr Lecture that author and cartoonist Alison Bechdel will deliver on October 7. Bechdel’s “graphic memoir,” Fun Home, about her own coming out and her realization that her father is bisexual, was the freshman common reading for the new Vassar class of 2018. “It is wonderful and so important to have these authors speaking at Vassar, as they are among the most vibrant gay and lesbian voices in fiction and memoir writing today,” says Kumar.
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