FLORENCE, S.C. – Author Randall Kenan will give the Hunter Lecture at Francis Marion University, Wednesday, March 15.
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.
Kenan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., raised in rural North Carolina, and is currently an associate professor of English at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first novel, “A Visitation of Spirits,” was published in 1989. A story collection, “Let the Dead Bury Their Dead,” was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book. His other books include a biography of author James Baldwin (1993), a collection of Norman Mauskoff’s photography titled “A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta” (1997), and “Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the 21st Century” (1999), which was nominated for the Southern Book Award.
Kenan worked on the editorial staff of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., until 1989, when he began to teach writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. He was the first William Blackburn Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University in the fall of 1994, and the Edourd Morot-Sir Visiting Professor of Creating Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1995. He has also been the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, a visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Memphis, and held the Lehman Brady Professorship at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He has also taught urban literature at Vassar College.
Kenan is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the John Dos Passos Award, and was the 1997 Rome Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also served as a judge for the National Book Award.
The speech is presented by the Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter Chair in English Literature at FMU. 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.
Mr. 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. Mrs. Hunter 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.
#143 / 2-27-06