Danzy Senna, author of the bestselling novel, Caucasia, will give the annual Richard M. Summers Memorial Lecture Thursday, Nov. 3, at 5 p.m. in Student Union Room 2592.
She will give a public reading, which will be followed by a reception when she will sign books.Her first work, Caucasia, has been translated into 10 languages, and Senna won the Book of the Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the American Library Association’s Alex Award.
She also has written the bestselling novel, Symptomatic (2004); a memoir, Where Did You Sleep Last Night: A Personal History (2009); and a collection of short fiction, You Are Free: Stories (2011).
“We chose Ms. Senna because her work deftly and fearlessly explores — with grace, humor and emotional honesty — the complex and often thorny issues of race, class and gender in the contemporary United States,” said Dr. Kimberly Mack, UT assistant professor of English. “Senna confronts the constructed nature of race while developing characters who are tasked with finding ways to live authentically within those structures. Her novel, Caucasia, is also widely taught in our department, with students responding enthusiastically to her work.”
Mack encouraged attendance to the free, public event for the chance to hear from an influential writer.
“I hope that members of the UT and larger Toledo communities are inspired by their encounter with an important contemporary American writer whose work engages salient topics of contemporary relevance,” Mack said.
The Richard M. Summers Memorial Lecture was established by Marie Summers to honor her son, a member of the UT Department of English from 1966 until his death in 1988. The lecture is designed to bring a distinguished literary scholar, critic or writer to the University.
“The Summers Memorial Lecture offers the UT and larger Toledo communities an exciting opportunity to experience significant creative writers and literary scholars in a vibrant intellectual environment. For students who are studying literature or creative writing, the Summers Lecture exposes them to writers whose works can inform their own,” Mack said.
For more information on the Summers Memorial Lecture, call the UT Department of English Language and Literature at 419.530.2318.