Award-winning novelist to speak Oct. 30

October 28, 2015 | Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Cassandra DeYoung

Bruce Holsinger, an award-winning historical fiction, crime and mystery novelist and literary scholar, will speak during “An Evening of Historical Fiction” Friday, Oct. 30 at 5:30 Libbey Hall on The University of Toledo’s Main Campus.

The free, public event will feature a question-and-answer session moderated by Dr. Ben Stroud, assistant professor of English in the UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, with a book signing and reception.



“This is a great way to be introduced to a new author you might not have heard about before,” said Dr. Christina M. Fitzgerald, UT professor of English and director of the Humanities Institute.

Holsinger new novel, The Invention of Fire, has received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and was named an Amazon Book of the Month in April. It is set in medieval London when gun violence in the Western world begins to emerge in society for the first time and follows John Gower, the protagonist, as he investigates the killings caused by a new and terrifying weapon called “handgonnes.”

“Even though [Holsinger] writes about the past, the significance of ‘handgonnes’ to the plot of his current book is very timely,” Fitzgerald said. “Sometimes the study of the past or the creative presentation of it can speak to our own day and age in prescient and important ways, and I think that’s true of Holsinger’s latest book.”

Additionally, Holsinger teaches courses on medieval and modern literature at the University of Virginia, and has taught historical fiction in a massive open online course called Plagues, Witches and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction.

The event is hosted by the Humanities Institute in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences. It seeks to sustain the work of humanities scholars at UT and to spread knowledge and expertise to a larger community of learners both inside and outside the University.

“The Humanities Institute promotes all of the disciplines in the humanities,” Fitzgerald said. “Our events this year have been cross-disciplinary with an underlining theme in history.”

For more information on Holsinger and his work, visit

For more information on the Humanities Institute, visit

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