Monday, October 8, 2012
This October, the English department’s Master of Fine Arts program, now known as The New Writers Project, is kicking off a New Writers Tour featuring book talks by up-and-coming writers at BookPeople.
The first event will feature a reading and signing by Antoine Wilson, author of “Panorama City” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept. 2012) on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The book talks are free and open to the public. Go to this website for more details.
About the book: Open Porter, a self-described “slow absorber,” thinks he’s dying. He’s not, but from his hospital bed, he unspools into a cassette recorder a tale of self-determination, from village idiot to man of the world, for the benefit of his unborn son.
Written in an astonishingly charming and wise voice, Panorama City traces forty days and nights navigating the fast food joints, storefront churches, and home-office psychologists of the San Fernando Valley. Ping-ponging between his watchful and sharp-tongued aunt and an outlaw philosopher with the face “of a newly hatched crocodile,” Open finds himself constantly in the sights of people who believe that their way is the only way for him.
“Panorama City,” received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, calling it “fresh and flawlessly crafted as well as charmingly genuine.” And Peter Carey, a two-time Booker Prize winner, described the novel as “filled with joy and wonder, and a sort of goodness you had stopped believing might be even possible. Antoine Wilson’s sentences are like diamond necklaces but his greatest treasure is his human heart.”
About The New Writers Project: The two-year program is an opportunity for serious writers to study with established authors at The University of Texas at Austin. It’s a program where students lead their own workshops and are trained in a nationally ranked English department. With the guidance of award-winning faculty and visiting writers, students have an opportunity to focus on one genre (fiction or poetry) and complete a manuscript by the end of their second year.
“The New Writers Project recruits poets and fictions writers who are already showing great promise, and provides them with the time and space to continue developing their talent,” says Oscar Casares, associate professor in the Department of English and director of The New Writers Project. “As an extension of the program, The New Writers Tour features writers who have received critical praise but are still relatively early in their careers. Ultimately, this is about the discovery of talented writers and of where we expect them to be before too long.”
For more about The New Writer’s Project, take a look at their recently launched website.