Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan will present the keynote address for Washington and Lee University’s 10th annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar on Friday, April 5, at 4 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
Egan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will open the seminar, "New Ways of Knowing: Novelist as Journalist/Journalist as Novelist." The event runs April 5–6.
Washington and Lee’s Class of 1951 established the seminar in honor of its classmate, award-winning author and journalist Tom Wolfe, who will be in attendance and will offer remarks during the weekend.
In addition to Egan, the seminar will feature Washington and Lee English professors and authors Jasmin Darznik and Chris Gavaler.
Egan's 2010 novel, "A Visit from the Goon Squad," won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Critics Circle Award. Described as "groundbreaking" by the Chicago Tribune and "audacious" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the novel focuses on the interwoven lives of several vividly drawn characters linked, sometimes loosely, by the music industry. “A Visit from the Goon Squad” presents a variety of voices and styles within a time frame of 40 years.
A New York Times reviewer wondered whether "this tough uncategorizable work of fiction is a novel, a collection of carefully arranged interlocking stories or simply a display of Ms. Egan's extreme virtuosity."
Egan's other works include "Emerald City," a collection of short stories, and the novels "The Keep," "Invisible Circus," which became a feature film starring Cameron Diaz, and "Look at Me," a National Book Award finalist.
She was born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Her non-fiction articles appear frequently in the New York Times Magazine. Her 2002 cover story on homeless children received the Carroll Kowal Journalism Award, and “The Bipolar Kid” received a 2009 NAMI Outstanding Media Award for Science and Health Reporting from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The two W&L professors who will join Egan at the seminar have extensive publication credits. Darznik's memoir, "The Good Daughter," was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into eight languages. She has published essays in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. Gavaler is the author of the novels "Pretend I'm Not Here" and "School for Tricksters," along with numerous short stories and plays.
While the keynote address is open to the public, and members of the University community may attend the seminar without registering, others may register for the event by contacting the Office of Special Programs at (540) 458-8723. Additional details are available at http://www.wlu.edu/x59367.xml.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs