Eric Miles Williamson has worn many hats. He has been a gunite worker, cement mason, carpet layer, demolitionist and forklift operator. He is also a critically acclaimed author, noted for his fierce fiction and thought-provoking essays. On Friday, November 10, the American Book Review will host Williamson at the University of Houston-Victoria to discuss his life and work.
Williamson, who has written numerous book reviews and has been closely involved with the work of the National Book Critics Circle, will give a presentation from noon to 1 p.m. in Alcorn Auditorium on the selection process for the NBCC’s literary awards.
“Williamson has a real insider’s perspective for a process not many people get to witness. He has very interesting and entertaining stories to tell. We are looking forward to having him at UHV,” said ABR managing editor Dr. Charles Alcorn.
Advanced Placement English classes from Memorial and St. Joseph’s High School will be attending the event, and area book clubs have also been invited.
Williamson’s fiction includes two novels, the recently released Two-Up as well as East Bay Grease, a PEN/Hemmingway Award finalist and one of the Los Angeles Times’ Best Books of 1999. His accounts of blue-collar laborers have been described as hyper-real tragi-comedies. He has been an editor for several prestigious literary journals, including Boulevard and Gulf Coast. Prior to earning a doctorate from New York University, Williamson completed a Master of Fine Arts through the University of Houston’s creative writing program.
“Williamson is exactly the kind of author that ABR champions, a genuine craftsman with a unique perspective,” noted Dr. Jeffrey Di Leo, editor-in-chief of ABR and interim dean of Arts and Sciences at UHV. “He is also an intelligent and fearless book critic who has promoted other writers within the pages of ABR. It will be a privilege to hear him speak.”
The National Book Critics Circle was founded in 1974. With nearly 700 book reviewers as members, NBCC promotes intelligent discussion of books and seeks to honor quality writing. At the center of its annual activities are highly esteemed awards given to the best books in five categories: fiction, general nonfiction, biography/autobiography, poetry and criticism.
The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to meet the author and purchase signed copies of his new novel. For more information about ABR and the upcoming event, contact Dr. Charles Alcorn at (361)-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.