October 23, 2003
Endowed English Reading to Feature
The Whitworth College Department of English will feature award-winning novelist Robert Clark as its 2003 Endowed English Reader. Clark has worked as a freelance journalist and editor specializing in writing about travel, food and wine, and is the author of books including Love Among the Ruins (2001), Mr. White's Confession (1998), In the Deep Midwinter (1997), The Solace of Food: A Life of James Beard (1996), and River of the West: Stories from the Columbia (1995). Clark's work has been praised in full reviews in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Clark will read from his works on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hixson Union Building at Whitworth College. After the reading, Clark will answer questions from the audience, and then will sign his books, which will be available for purchase. The reading is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 777-3253.
Clark's most recent novel, Love Among the Ruins, was praised by critics and reviewers as a haunting portrayal of love in youth and middle age, as well as of the psychological and social upheavals of the 1960s. The book was a 2001 Booksense 76 pick and is currently in development for film.
Mr. White's Confession, which blends literary fiction with 1930s noir detective story, won the Edgar Allen Poe and PNBA awards for best novel; the book is in pre-production as a motion picture by James B. Harris, producer and collaborator of the late director Stanley Kubrick.
Combining his academic interests in literature and cultural history, Clark wrote River of the West, a chronicle of the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest, in 1995. The book inspired his first novel, In the Deep Midwinter, which led Dan Cryer of Newsday to describe Clark in a review as "a novelist of consequence." The Washington Post Book World's Jonathan Yardley said of Clark's first work of fiction, "It has been a long time since the last American novel of such compassion, intelligence and maturity."
Other honors accorded Clark's work include My Grandfather's House being selected as a finalist for the 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Award for biography and the 1994 Julia Child Book Award for James Beard: A Biography, which was reprinted as The Solace of Food: A Life of James Beard, in 1996.
Clark lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. He teaches fiction and nonfiction writing at universities, conferences and workshops, and is currently finishing a novel, Lives of the Artists, as well as a work of creative nonfiction on F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The Endowed English Readings was established to bring nationally recognized writers to the Whitworth College campus and the greater Spokane area. Visiting writers offer classroom visits, workshops, meetings with students and faculty, and literary readings during their time on campus and in the community.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Nadine Chapman, assistant professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4792 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Sem-Rodrigues, program assistant, English department, Whitworth College (509) 777-3253 or email@example.com.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.