Literary Lives: Pat Conroy, Lorraine Hansberry, and John Williams

Fri. March 22, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

UVa Harrison Institute / Small Special Collections

UVa Central Grounds, 160 McCormick Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22904


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Authors Michael Mewshaw (The Lost Prince), Imani Perry (Looking for Lorraine), and Charles J. Shields (The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel) examine the lives of mid-twentieth century literary stars Pat Conroy, Lorraine Hansberry, and John Williams. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Why should you attend?

The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy is a book about male bonding rituals and reversals, but it’s also about so much more than that. It’s about how perplexed and inadequately prepared we can be as characters who pop up in other people’s lives. It’s about unknowability and its repercussions. It’s a fluidly written, fascinating book about Michael Mewshaw and Pat Conroy caught in the crossbeams of past and present, fated to overlap, bond, retreat, and then―as Mewshaw clearly hopes―to unite in a different configuration a final time.” ―Ann Beattie, author of The Accomplished Guest

“An intimate portrait of the artist as a black woman at the crossroads . . . Perry infuses the narrative with a sense of urgency and enthusiasm because she believes Hansberry has something to teach us in these ‘complicated times.’ Impressively, she tells her subject’s story in a tightly packed 200 pages. Perry also smartly delves into the inspirations for Hansberry’s brilliant A Raisin in the Sun and engagingly explores Hansberry’s profound friendships with James Baldwin and Nina Simone . . . Throughout this animated and inspiring biography, Perry reminds us that the ‘battles Lorraine fought are still before us: exploitation of the poor, racism, neocolonialism, homophobia, and patriarchy.’” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Despite obvious parallels with his fictional university protagonist, John Williams is both different and interesting enough to merit a book of his own, Charles J. Shields’s The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel. It certainly helps that, like Williams, Shields knows how to tell a good story, one that will appeal especially to those interested in the ins and outs of the publishing industry and the ups and downs of a writer’s life.” —Los Angeles Review of Books