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K-State Today

September 22, 2015

Fiction writer Victor LaValle to read from his work on Thursday

Submitted by Karin Westman

Victor LaValle

On Thursday, Sept. 24, fiction writer Victor LaValle will read from his work at 5:30 p.m. in K-State Student Union's Flint Hills Room.

LaValle is the author of the short story collection "Slapboxing with Jesus" and three novels, "The Ecstatic," "Big Machine" and "The Devil in Silver." He has received a Whiting Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

LaValle grew up in Queens, New York. He currently teaches at Columbia University.

"I would say that Victor LaValle is one of the most daring and innovative novelists in current African American literature. He combines elements of genre fiction and experimental fiction to interrogate histories of trauma and violence and to examine their continuing effect on the present," said Cameron Leader-Picone, assistant professor of English in African-American literature and culture.

Dan Hoyt, director of the Creative Writing Program and associate professor of English, also values LaValle's talent to weave together elements of literary and genre fiction.

"Victor LaValle's prose is beautiful and unique and striking. He creates full, sharply drawn characters and then enmeshes them in webs of plot and suspense. 'The Devil in Silver,' for instance, has the heart and the monster of a horror novel, but it also investigates the politics of a psychiatric ward and issues of race and class. It's a powerful book, and that power operates on multiple levels," explained Hoyt.

Read more information about LaValle's work.

LaValle's reading is sponsored by the English department and SGA's Diversity Programming Council. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the reading.

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