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Award-winning novelist and playwright Jim Grimsley to speak July 16 at Appalachian

BOONE—Jim Grimsley, known for his work as a novelist and playwright, will speak July 16 at Appalachian State University.

View larger imageImage from Algonquin Press

His talk, sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons, begins at 4 p.m. in room 114 in the library. The event is free and the public is invited. A reception and book signing will follow his presentation.

His book “How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood,” published in April by Algonquin Books, has been called “a powerful meditation on race” by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and “a sensitive memoir that probes the past to discover what and how Grimsley learned about race, equality and democracy ‘from the good white people’ in his family and community,” according to Kirkus Reviews.

Grimsley also is the author of the science fiction novels “The Ordinary” and “The Last Green Tree,” and the dark comedy “Forgiveness.”

His other novels include “Winter Birds,” a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; “Dream Boy,” winner of the Award for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Literature; “My Drowning,” a Lila-Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award winner; and “Comfort and Joy,” a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

He has written 11 full-length and four one-act plays, including “Mr. Universe,” “The Lizard of Tarsus,” “White People” and “The Existentialists.” A collection of his plays, “Mr. Universe and Other Plays,” was published by Algonquin in 1998, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in drama.

Grimsley has been playwright-in-residence at 7Stages Theatre of Atlanta since 1986 and was playwright-in-residence at About Face Theatre of Chicago from 2000-04. In 1988 he was awarded the George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright for his play “Mr. Universe.” He was also awarded the first-ever Bryan Prize for Drama, presented by the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 1993 for distinguished achievement in playwriting.

A native of eastern North Carolina, Grimsley is a member of the faculty at Emory University.

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