Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Author Dan Chaon, National Book Award Finalist, To Give Reading At Washington College

Chestertown – Acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Dan Chaon, a National Book Award finalist, will present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Tuesday, October 13, at 4:30 p.m.

The reading is presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Born and raised in Nebraska, Dan Chaon is the author of the short-story collections Fitting Ends and Other Stories and Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Among the Missing also was listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2001” by the American Library Association, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the Las Vegas Mercury and Entertainment Weekly, and was cited by Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post and the New York Times as one of the Notable Books of the year.

Chaon’s stories have been chosen for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories series and Pushcart Prize annual anthologies, having been published in noteworthy literary journals as TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, MSS, Story, Helicon, Mid-American Review and elsewhere.

His first novel, You Remind Me of Me, was released in 2004 and praised by Publishers Weekly for its “elegant prose, haunting plot and knockout literary excellence.”

Chaon’s latest novel, Await Your Reply, recently published by Ballantine Books, is a book that weaves elements of the supernatural, it was hailed by the New York Times as “a strange, stunning new novel…. Mr. Chaon succeeds in both creating suspense and making it pay off, but Await Your Reply also does something even better. …Mr. Chaon manages to bridge the gap between literary and pulp fiction with a clever, insinuating book equally satisfying to fans of either genre.”

Chaon currently teaches creative writing at Oberlin College, where he holds the position of Houck Associate Professor in the Humanities.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to the Dan Chaon reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

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