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Tommy Hays to give Hunter Lecture at FMU, March 5


FLORENCE – Novelist Tommy Hays will give the Hunter Lecture at Francis Marion University Thursday, March 5.  

The speech will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Cauthen Educational Media Center’s Lowrimore Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.  

Hays’ most recent novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was chosen for the 2008 One City, One Book community-read in Greensboro, N.C., and for the Amazing Read, Greenville’s first community-wide reading of a single book. It was also read on National Public Radio’s “Radio Reader” hosted by Dick Estell and South Carolina ETV-Radio’s “Southern Read” hosted by Walter Edgar. This novel was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2006 Fiction Award.  

Kirkus Reviews praised The Pleasure Was Mine as “beautifully capturing a husband's grief as he watches his beloved wife slip into Alzheimer's. Colloquial in tone, braced by its narrator's stoic, plainspoken candor, his latest outing feels timely and true. An intimate, loving portrait of a dreaded disease's devastating effects."

Hays has written two other acclaimed novels -- Sam’s Crossing and In the Family Way, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and a Lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he received his B.A. in English from Furman University and received the Master of Fine Arts in writing from Warren Wilson College.  

For more information, visit Hays’ website at or contact FMU English Professor Jon Tuttle at (843) 661-1521.

The Hunter Chair in English Literature was established in 1991 by three sisters – Dorothy Hunter Thames Ellis, Adelle Hunter West and Hattie Costa Hunter King – as a memorial to their parents, Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter. 

Hunter made his life in Marion County, was once mayor of Marion, contributed to many different organizations throughout the Pee Dee area and operated a successful automobile dealership in Florence for 40 years. His wife came to Marion as a schoolteacher, was active in church work and taught Sunday school for more than 50 years. She was a charter member of several literary clubs, garden clubs and community organizations.

#120 / 2-25-09

Last Published: March 5, 2009 4:56 PM
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