April 23, 2020
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Release: Oct. 24, 2019
GAMBIER, Ohio — Acclaimed writer T.C. Boyle, whose works include “World’s End,” “Drop City” and “The Relive Box,” will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Kenyon Review Literary Festival, held Nov. 4–8 at Kenyon College.
Boyle is this year’s recipient of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, chosen by Kenyon Review editors in conjunction with the Kenyon Review Board of Trustees. His Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture will be held Friday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. in Storer Hall’s Brandi Recital Hall, 105 College Drive.
Inventive and wickedly funny, Boyle’s writing explores the hidden truths of human nature through characters both despicable and compelling. His 28 books of fiction — including, most recently, 2019’s “Outside Looking In” — and his writing for most of America’s major magazines have earned him a number of literary awards. Boyle’s 1988 novel “World’s End” received the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best novel of the year, and his 1999 “T.C. Boyle Stories” collection earned the PEN/Malamud Prize. Boyle has been a member of the University of Southern California’s English department since 1978.
“T.C. Boyle is truly a master of both the contemporary short story and the novel,” said David Lynn, the David F. Banks Editor of the Kenyon Review. “He is unrivaled in a kind of creative playfulness that allows him to probe deeply, with wit and insight and verbal precision, into a vast array of characters and dramatic contexts. We are thrilled to honor such a singular talent.”
The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement is given annually to honor careers of extraordinary achievement that have shaped the American literary landscape. Previous winners include Rita Dove, Colm Tóibín, Margaret Atwood and 1952 Kenyon graduate E.L. Doctorow. Boyle will be presented with his award at the Kenyon Review Awards Gala on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in New York City.
These events are free and open to the public.
A writing workshop titled “Alternate Histories: Writing the Surreal in Science Fiction and Fantasy” at 4:30 p.m. in the Finn House’s Cheever Room, 102 W. Wiggin St. Join Kenyon Review Fellow Misha Rai for a generative writing workshop exploring the surreal and speculative; no pre-registration is required.
A poetry reading by Ruth Awad at 4:30 p.m. in the Finn House’s Cheever Room. Awad, a Columbus-based Lebanese American writer, has won numerous awards for her work, including the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize, the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry and a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award.
A panel discussion titled “Cultural Malaise: Writers on Social Responsibility and the Rhetoric of Change” at 4:30 p.m. in the Gund Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater. Join poet Ruth Awad, assistant professors of English Keija Parssinen and Orchid Tierney, and Ira Sukrungruang, the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing, as they read from their work and discuss their social engagement as writers.
A reading by Lesley Nneka Arimah and Dawn Davies, winners of the 2019 GLCA New Writers Award, at 4:30 p.m. in the Finn House’s Cheever Room. Arimah’s work has been honored with a National Magazine Award, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award. Her debut collection, “What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky,” won the 2017 Kirkus Prize and the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and it was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club, among other honors. Davies’ honors include the Kentucky Women Writers’ Betty Gabehart Prize for Creative Nonfiction, a Pushcart Special Mention and the 2019 Florida Book Award Gold Medal for General Nonfiction.
Sidewalk sale starting at noon outside the Kenyon College Bookstore, 106 Gaskin Ave. Browse a wide selection of literary magazines and small-press books during the daylong sale.
The Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture: An Evening with T.C. Boyle at 8 p.m. in Storer Hall’s Brandi Recital Hall, 105 College Drive. Boyle is the author of 28 books of fiction, and his work has been translated into more than two dozen languages. A book signing will follow.
This festival is supported by Ariel Corporation, Knox County Foundation, First-Knox National Bank, the Peoples Bank, Printing Arts Press, Mount Vernon News, Ohio Arts Council, Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture Series, Kenyon College English Department, Great Lakes Colleges Association, Kenyon College Bookstore and Paragraphs Bookstore.