WMU News

Chicago writers to give reading, discuss art form

November 5, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Chicago fiction writers Beth Nugent and Stacey Levine will read from their work at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in Room 3512 of Knauss Hall on the campus of Western Michigan University. The reading, sponsored by the Department of English, is free and open to the public.

Nugent is the author of a novel, "Live Girls," and a collection of stories, "City of Boys," the title story of which appears in "The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction." She teaches creative writing at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.

Stacey Levine is the author of "Dra-- ", a novel, and "My Horse and Other Stories," which won the 1994 PEN-West Award for Fiction. She teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle.

"Both of these writers purvey an unsweetened view of American social and economic life at the end of the twentieth century, grim to the point of absurdity and sometimes well beyond it, where horror becomes funny again, " says Dr. Jaimy Gordon, WMU professor of English and fiction writer. "One senses with both writers that solitude and isolation are their real subjects, but Nugent studies the lonely as they bump around numbly or fecklessly in a recognizable world, whereas the worlds Levine creates seem to be projected from within. They seem to be bleak and trash-filled cities of the mind."

Earlier that day, at 2 p.m., both writers will join Gordon and well-known Michigan writer Janet Kauffman, author of "Collaborators" and "Places in the World a Woman Could Walk," on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower for an open conversation on the arts and teaching. They will talk about their starts as writers, the formal challenges of their work, the American literary scene in the 1990s and their takes on creative writing as an academic specialty. They will also field questions from the audience.

For more information contact Gordon at 381-6606, Julie Stotz at 373-9212 or the Department of English at 387-2572.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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