Fiction Writer Anthony Marra Opens Carver Reading Series
The fiction writer Anthony Marra kicks off Syracuse University’s Fall 2014 Raymond Carver Reading Series with a reading Wednesday, September 17, at Gifford Auditorium in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall. A question-and-answer session is from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m., followed by the reading at 5:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Syracuse University’s paid lots.
Marra’s first novel, “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” (Hogarth, 2013), won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and was long-listed for the National Book Award. He also won a 2012 Whiting Writer’s Award, a $50,000 prize given to writers who show promise.
A New York Times review compared the book to Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and praised its “fusion of the desperate with the whimsical.” The story, set amid the Chechen wars, offers “a meditation on the use and abuse of history, and an inquiry into the extent to which acts of memory may also constitute acts of survival.”
The Whiting Writers’ Awards selection committee also cited Marra’s “Tolstoyan ambitions,” as well as his “stylistic virtuosity” and “lyric passages saturated with intelligence and psychological insight.”
Marra’s 2010 short story, “Chechnya,” won a 2010 Pushcart Prize and the 2010 Narrative Prize.
Marra is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the Jones Lecturer in Fiction at Stanford University. His writing has also appeared in publications including The Atlantic, Narrative Magazine, the 2011 Pushcart Prize anthology, and the Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012.
In an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, Marra challenged the familiar writer’s maxim, “Write what you know.” Says Marra, “Write what you want to know, rather than what you already know.”
Marra has been named Syracuse’s Peter Horvitz Distinguished Author.
Fall 2014 Series Schedule
The series will continue with the following authors. Further information is available by calling 315-443-2174.
Wednesday, Sept. 24: The novelist Edan Lepucki, whose debut novel, “California” (Little, Brown & Co.) was released in July.
Wednesday, Oct. 8: Will Schutt, whose poetry collection “Westerly” (Yale University Press, 2013), won the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets award.
Wednesday, Oct. 22: Mary Ruefle, a poet and essayist whose latest collection is “Trances of the Blast” (Wave Books, 2014).
Wednesday, Nov. 5: Daisy Fried, a poet whose “Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice” (University of Pittsburgh, 2013) was named one of the Library Journal’s five best poetry books of 2013.
Wednesday, Dec. 3: The novelist Ruth Ozeki, a novelist whose most recent work, “A Tale for the Time-Being” (Viking/Canongate, 2013), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.