2015-2016 English Reading Series: Reading and Book Signing by Ann Pancake

Ann PancakeEnglish, reading and book signing
Ann Pancake, author
Thursday, October 29 | 5 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery 

Ann Pancake grew up in Romney and Summersville, West Virginia. Her new short story collection, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, was published in February 2015 with Counterpoint Press. 

Her first novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been (Counterpoint 2007), features a West Virginia family devastated by mountaintop removal mining. Based on interviews and real events, the novel was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award.

Pancake’s collection of short stories, Given Ground, won the 2000 Bakeless Award, and she has also received a Whiting Award, an NEA Grant, a Pushcart Prize, and creative writing fellowships from the states of Washington, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Her fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies like Agni, The Georgia Review, Poets and Writers, Narrative, and New Stories from the South. She earned her BA in English at West Virginia University and a PhD. in English Literature from the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle.

Of her work, Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Burning Bright, writes: “Ann Pancake knows the ways of her people inside and out, but her stories are always linked to the universal concerns of the human heart, and they are rendered in voices that are often wildly original, always poetic. Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, is further confirmation that Ann Pancake is one of America’s finest writers.”

And novelist Dan Chaon notes: “These are astonishing stories — tender, alive, full of heart and empathy but never sentimental, full of clenched drama and secrets and surprises, but always subtle, full of knotty, poetic language, but also remarkably naturalistic. In her unflinching and lovingly astute attention to the lives of the working poor, people who have fallen entirely beneath the radar of our literary notice, she occasionally calls to mind the haunting photographs of Walker Evans, but I don’t think there’s anyone else like Ann in American letters. She is a true original, and I urge you with all my heart to read these gorgeous stories. Ann Pancake is one of the best we have.”

Thanks to the following departments for their support of this reading: The English Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Geography and Environmental Systems.

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