Monday, January 24, 2011
W.C. Alum Roy Kesey To Read from New Novel February 1 at Rose O'Neill Literary House
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Fiction writer Roy Kesey, a 1991 graduate of Washington College, will read from his work Tuesday evening, February 1 at the Rose O’Neill Literary House, 407 Washington Avenue. The 5:30 p.m. reading will be followed by a book signing of his new novel, Pacazo, being released next month by Dzanc Press.
Pacazo tells the story of John Segovia, an American historian who teaches English at a small university on the desert coast of Peru. The narrative moves between John's obsessive search for his wife’s killer and his attempts to build a new life for himself and his infant daughter. With the sweep of an epic, Pacazo explores and celebrates the ways we construct the stories we tell about ourselves and those we love.
Chosen as both a Rumpus Book Club Selection and a Newtonville First Editions Book Club Selection, Kesey’s first full-length novel has been praised as “intense, hypnotic and stunningly visceral,” and “like a cannonball rolling downhill.” Ron Currie, whose 2007 novel God is Dead won the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, wrote that, with Pacazo, “Kesey strides up alongside Graham Greene, melding intrigue, religion, and exotica into a story as edifying as it is entertaining. Ultimately, though, Kesey's greatest achievement lies in his ability to illuminate all that is grand and horrible in love.”
During his senior year at Washington College, Kesey learned he was waitlisted for graduate studies at Iowa and decided to move to Paris to live and work, instead. Four years later, he traveled to Peru, where he met his wife, a Peruvian diplomat. After a stint in China, the couple and their children now live again in Peru.
Kesey’s fiction has been published in some of the world’s most respected literary journals, including McSweeney’s, The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, American Short Fiction, New England Review, and New Sudden Fiction. His novella, Nothing in the World won the Bullfight Short Fiction Prize in 2006, and his short story “Wait” appeared in the collection, Best American Short Stories 2007.
The Feb. 1 visit will be Kesey’s first time back on the WC campus since his graduation. "It's been twenty years since the last time I was in Chestertown, but Washington College has never been far from my mind. It's where I started learning to write, and where I wrote the first story I ever published, and I can't wait to get back."
Sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, the February 1 reading is free and open to the public.