The University of Houston-Victoria/American Book Review Fall Reading Series will feature four authors, including a 2009 recipient of one of the most prestigious fellowships in the United States and Canada, and a Chicago-based novelist and professor.
“We have a really good mix of authors lined up for this fourth year of the Reading Series,” said Thomas Williams, an ABR associate editor and chair of the Humanities Division in the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “They are all looking forward to coming to Victoria to share their knowledge of writing.”
Author George Singleton, who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in April, will be the first speaker in the Fall Reading Series on Sept. 3. Guggenheim Fellowships are given to artists, scientists and scholars based on their stellar achievements and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment. Singleton was one of 12 fiction writers selected out of 180 fellows and nearly 3,000 applicants.
Singleton has published two novels, four collections of stories and, most recently, “Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds: Indispensible Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers.” In 2007, Newsweek said about his novel “Work Shirts for Madmen,” “If there is a fiction genre blending the riotous, bleary-eyed excess and absurdity of gonzo journalism with the rather earnest, sensitivity of a John Irving hero – who always does right by his wife in the end – ‘Work Shirts’ belongs to it.”
For the past 10 years, he has taught fiction writing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, S.C.
Singleton’s free talk will begin at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson. The public is invited to attend, and light refreshments will be served.
The Fall Reading Series will end on Nov. 19 with a visit from novelist Cris Mazza, the author of 15 books, including 10 novels, four collections of stories and a collection of personal essays. A prominent post-feminist writer, she also edited “Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction” (1995) and “Chick-Lit 2 (No Chick Vics)” (1996), two anthologies of women’s fiction that altered the literary landscape in the mid-1990s, said Williams, who also was featured as an author in the Reading Series before he joined the UHV faculty.
Many of Mazza’s books were published by Fiction Collective Two, an alternative press with executive offices based at UHV. Her next book, “Various Men who Knew us as Girls,” will appear in 2010 from Emergency Press. She is the director of the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Other writers scheduled for the Fall Reading Series are:
Tony Diaz, Oct 1 – Diaz is the author of the novel “The Aztec Love God” and editor of “Latino Heretics,” both published by FC2. He is a graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Houston and the founder of Nuestra Palabra, an organization that promotes Latino writers. Diaz lives in Houston and teaches at Houston Community College.
Andrew Porter, Oct. 22 – Porter received the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction from the University of Georgia Press for his debut collection of stories “The Theory of Light and Matter.” The collection has since been nominated for the Texas Institute of Letters’ Steven Turner Award for Best Book of First Fiction and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. Knopf Publishers has purchased the worldwide paperback rights to the collection and will publish it in 2010. It also will be published in the United Kingdom and Australia and in translation in France and The Netherlands. Porter teaches at Trinity University in San Antonio.
“These distinguished authors will expose UHV faculty, staff and students and the community to a wide variety of writing styles and genres,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor/publisher and dean of the UHV School of Arts and Sciences. “I look forward to welcoming them to our university and city.”
While in Victoria, the authors attend roundtable discussions with UHV faculty and students, make classroom visits to area schools, give lectures open to the community, and go to receptions hosted by Friends of ABR patrons. Past speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Oshinsky, author and Iranian refugee Farnoosh Moshiri, Chicana novelist Ana Castillo and American Book Award recipient Graciela Limon.
“The American Book Review is one of the gems we have at this university,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the Reading Series and interact with these talented authors.”
ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal that is published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2007 and has a circulation of about 8,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.
For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call ABR Managing Editor Charles Alcorn at 361-570-4100 or go to www.americanbookreview.org.