Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Allan Gurganus to give 2nd Annual Ursrey Memorial Lecture on Thurs., June 4

The Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home will present a lecture by acclaimed author Allan Gurganus on Thursday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 225 W. President St . on Telfair Square. A reception and book signing will immediately follow the lecture. All events are free and open to the public.

Gurganus will be the featured speaker for the 2009 Ashley and Terry Ursrey Memorial Lecture Series. The Ursrey Lecture Series is endowed in memory of the brothers Terry and Ashley Ursrey, native Georgians who, like Flannery O'Connor, were lifelong devotees of all things Southern, particularly the art of storytelling. The series officially debuted in 2008 with a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham.

A native of Rocky Mount, N.C., Gurganus is perhaps best known as the author of the best-selling novel, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. He has been honored with the prestigious O. Henry Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Work of American Fiction, the Lambda Literary Award and the National Magazine Prize. 

Over the years, he has written a number of novels, essays and short stories and has also contributed commentaries to The New York Times, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer and National Public Radio. A 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, Gurganus is the author of White People, Plays Well With Others and The Practical Heart. His work has been translated into 16 languages. 

Author John Cheever has called Allan Gurganus, “the most technically brilliant and morally responsive writer of his generation.” Robert Wilson, the editor of American Scholar, has described him as “the worthy heir to Faulkner and Welty.”

Gurganus has taught writing and literature at Stanford University, Sarah Lawrence, Duke University and the University of North Carolina –Chapel Hill. He currently resides in Hillsborough, N.C.

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