WMU News

Novelist Howard Norman opens Frostic Reading Series

Sept. 6, 2004

KALAMAZOO--National Book Award finalist and WMU graduate Howard Norman reads from his work Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. in the Little Theatre at Western Michigan University. Norman's presentation is the first in the Fall 2004 Gwen Frostic Reading Series, which is free and open to the public.

Norman, who earned a bachelor's degree in English from WMU in 1972, has carved out a distinctive literary niche with his spooky, romantic novels full of eccentric characters, mixed moral motives, and the unlimited vagaries of human behavior. His most recent novel, "The Haunting of L.," is set in the 1920s in the stark, unforgiving climate and landscape of Manitoba and Halifax. The book's protagonist works for a man who photographs accidents he has set up for a deranged client and whose beautiful wife believes in spirit pictures. Portraying the symbiotic relationship between art and violence, it has been called a chilling fable of moral blindness and artistic ambition.

Earlier novels by Norman, "The Bird Artist" and "The Northern Lights," were finalists for the National Book Award. His other works include "Kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad and Other Stories," a collection of eight stories titled "The Chauffeur," and the children's book "How the Gloosekap Outwits the Ice Giants." In 1996, he received a Lannan Literary Award in fiction. Norman lives with his family in Washington, D.C., and Vermont.

Other readings in the Fall 2004 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

Thursday, Sept. 30, poet Terrance Hayes

Thursday, Oct. 7, novelist James McManus

Wednesday, Oct. 13, playwright Jeremy Dobrish

Wednesday, Oct. 27, poet Jean Valentine

All readings begin at 8 p.m. and are in the Little Theatre, which is located at the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street on Western Michigan University's East Campus. There is free off-street parking behind the theatre.

For more information about the Gwen Frostic Reading Series, contact Dr. Arnie Johnston, chair of the Department of English, at <arnie.johnston@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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