Happenings: Wells Tower Book Reading

Acclaimed writer to read
at Wittliff Collections

By Mary Kincy

A photo of author Wells Tower.

Wells Tower, as photographed by Suzanne Bennett for The New Yorker

Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, will be the feature of a reading and signing event hosted by the Wittliff Collections at Texas State’s Alkek Library. A question-and-answer period is planned as well.

Tower’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ and the The Paris Review. Additionally, he is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Discovery Prize issued by The Paris Review, the Young Lions Fiction Award issued by the New York Public Library, and a National Magazine Award for Fiction.

Tower was also included in The New Yorker’s list of the 20 most promising fiction writers under the age of 40.

The reading is brought to Texas State by the Department of English’s Creative Writing program.

Michele Miller, media relations and publications specialist for the Wittliff Collections, spoke to the relevance of the event.

“Hosting the acclaimed visiting writers brought to campus by the creative writing program fits right in with the part of the Wittliff Collections mission that is committed to instructing and inspiring students,” she says. “Holding the readings in the Wittliff spaces, which are devoted to art and literature, serves to intensify the experience for not only the students and others in the audience but for the visiting authors as well.”

Tower’s collection of short stories published as Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned earned praise from New York Times reviewer Edmund White in 2009, who called the writing “polished and distinctive.”

“Though he’s intrigued by the painful experiences of men much older than he is, Tower can write with equal power about young women and boys; about hell-raising, skull-bashing ancient Vikings and an observant housebound old man of the 21st century, even about a cheerful, insouciant pedophile,” White writes. “His range is wide and his language impeccable, never strained or fussy.”

The event begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. Admission is free; attendees are invited to bring their own copies of Tower’s book to be autographed, or copies will be available for sale by the University Bookstore.

For more information, visit www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu.

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