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The Department of English and Comparative Literature is excited to welcome Lorrie Moore as this year’s Frank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence. 

Moore will give a reading in addition to participating in two panels:

Panel, Monday, February 28, 3:30pm, Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall. “Dangerous Truths” (with panelists Prs. Karen Tucker and Stephanie Elizondo Griest, moderated by Pr. Michael Gutierrez).
Reading, Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 pm, Moeser Auditorium, Hill Hall.
Panel, Wednesday, March 2, 3:30pm, Ann Queen Pleasants Room, Campus Y. “How to Become a (Funny) Writer” (with panelists Pr. Gabriel Bump and Ashley Melzer, moderated by Pr. Julia Ridley Smith).

Find more information about this year’s Frank B. Hanes program here.

“Lorrie Moore is a writer whose voice on the page is unmistakable: smart, satirical, dark, and fearless. She also knows her way around a punchline—she is very, very funny—but it would be a mistake to read her work purely for its comedic value. Her stories are masterpieces of the form because all the one-liners, the puns, and the sometimes-painful jokes bear the burden of a corresponding truth: all is not right in the world. Like Flannery O’Connor, a close literary relative, Moore’s stories can be deeply tragic and exceptionally hilarious at the very same time.

From book to book her scalpel has only gotten sharper, as has the depth of her skill and breadth of her vision. Her first novel, Anagrams (1986), was followed by a second collection, Like Life (1990). Included in this collection is the story “You’re Ugly, Too,” her first to be published in the New Yorker, and reprinted, as so many Moore stories have been, in The O. Henry Awards and The Best American Short Stories. It was also included in The Best Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.

Her second novel, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994), was followed by the seminal collection Birds of America, which came out in 1998 and won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. Her 2009 novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and for the Orange Prize for Fiction. A third collection, Bark, was shortlisted for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and was a finalist for The Story Prize.

Moore was the Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught creative writing for 30 years. She joined the faculty there in 1984 and left to join the faculty at Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2013, where she is now the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English.”

Read glowing reviews of Moore’s body of work in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The Frank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence Program began in 2016, building on previous departmental writer-in-residence positions. The program brings important contemporary writers to campus to meet students and faculty and to offer public readings and panel discussions. Named for Frank Borden Hanes Sr., who endowed the Thomas Wolfe scholarship, the program further invigorates the literary culture that thrives on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus. The department is honored to host Lorrie Moore as this year’s Hanes Writer-in-Residence, and this series will offer the wider public a chance to hear and engage with this compelling and important writer. We thank the Hanes Family for its generosity which makes possible these wonderful opportunities.

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