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Emily St. John Mandel featured at Literary Festival

By Kathy Henry Dowell, University Libraries, kdowell@mailbox.sc.edu

Novelist Emily St. John Mandel will be the final guest at the University of South Carolina's Fall Literary Festival, visitingThursday, Nov. 1.

The Fall Literary Festival, now in its 13th season, is sponsored by USC Libraries and the English department in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each festival brings major authors to campus over the course of a few weeks in the fall.

Poet Kevin Young opened the festival Oct. 16, and journalist Scott Simon spoke Oct. 23.

While on campus, the writers will read from their work, talk with audience members and be available to sign copies of their books. Each writer also will work with USC students in a master class.

The festival is sponsored by a generous anonymous donor, allowing all festival events to be free and open to the public. St. John Mandel will speak at 6 p.m. in the program room of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, which is accessible through USC’s Thomas Cooper Library.

More information about the Fall Literary Festival, including directions and parking information, is available here.

Emily St. John Mandel will read at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.

Emily St. John MandelSt. John Mandel is celebrating the recent release of her third novel, “The Lola Quartet.” Born on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, she studied dance at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

Her previous novels are “Last Night in Montreal,” which was a June 2009 Indie Next pick and a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's 2009 Book of the Year, and “The Singer's Gun,” the winner of an Indie Bookseller's Choice Award, No. 1 Indie Next pick for May 2010, and long-listed for both The Morning News' 2011 Tournament of Books and the 2011 Spinetingler Awards.

St. John Mandel is a staff writer for The Millions, an online magazine. She has an essay in the recent anthology, “The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of the Book,” and her short fiction appears in “Venice Noir,” an anthology released in April 2012.


Kevin Young

Kevin YoungBorn in 1970, Young is widely regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation. He is the author of seven books of poems and editor of five others, and his work has been frequently featured on National Public Radio and in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Callaloo, and other journals and anthologies, including the Best American Poetry 2008, 2009 and 2010. Young often finds meaning and inspiration in African-American music, particularly the blues, as well as in the complexities of American history and heartbreak.

His latest collection of poems, “Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels,” was published by Knopf in January 2011. A chorus of voices tells the story of the Africans who mutinied on board the slave ship Amistad. Library Journal and Booklist gave it starred reviews; Library Journal says, "Writing in blues rhythms, Young achieves a hypnotic effect with repetition, puns, shifts in syntax, ellipsis, and use of the vernacular. Ultimately, his retelling becomes an eloquent examination of slavery as it's felt in the human soul. Highly recommended." The Boston Globe named “Ardency” one of the Best Poetry Books of 2011.

Young's first book, “Most Way Home,” was selected as part of the 1993 National Poetry Series. Most Way Home also went on to receive the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize from Ploughshares magazine.

Young’s fifth poetry book, “For the Confederate Dead,” was published in January 2007 by Knopf and won the Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the Quill Award for Poetry. His “Jelly Roll: A Blues” was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize.

His eighth book of poetry, “The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink,” will be released in November 2012 from Bloomsbury.

Young has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He is currently Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry library at Emory University.

Scott Simon

Scott Simon Simon hosts NPR’s "Weekend Edition Saturday," which has an audience of 4.2 million listeners. A Peabody Award-winning journalist, Simon has reported from all 50 states and every continent. He has covered 10 wars, hundreds of campaigns, sieges, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil wars and scandals. He has received numerous honors for his reporting, including the Overseas Press Club, George Foster Peabody, Directors Guild and Emmy awards. He was awarded the Studs Terkel Media Award in 2009.

Simon's book “Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan” was published in the spring of 2000 by Hyperion, a division of Disney. It topped the Los Angeles Times nonfiction bestseller list, and was cited as one of the best books of the year in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and several other publications. His second book, “Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball,” kicked off the prestigious Wiley Turning Points series in September 2002, and was the Barnes and Noble Sports Book of the Year.

In 2005 Simon published “Pretty Birds,” his novel about teenage girls during the siege of Sarajevo. It is now in its 13th printing. “Always gripping, always tender, and often painfully funny, Pretty Birds is a marvel of technical finesse, close observation, and a perfectly pitched heart,” wrote best-selling novelist Scott Turow. Simon’s bestselling political comedy, “Windy City,” was chosen by The Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008.

Simon’s most recent book, “Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption,” a memoir about the subject of adoption, was published by Random House in August 2010.

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Posted: 10/11/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 10/31/12 @ 10:59 AM | Permalink

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