Award-winning author Jill McCorkle will give a reading from her new book and will be the special guest at a dinner on Tuesday, March 19, at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Originally from Lumberton, McCorkle will read from “Life After Life” at 5 p.m. in Room 213 of the Dial Humanities Building. It is the most recent of her 10 books and will be published this month.
Following the reading, a dinner to raise funds for Pembroke Magazine, UNCP’s literary journal, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Dining Room. The cost of the dinner is $40 per person. Anyone interested in attending the dinner should call Tina Emanuel at 910-521-6358 by March 13.
Shelby Stephenson, poet, musician and retired editor of Pembroke Magazine, will also be a special guest. For more than 30 years, he published the work of North Carolina’s best writers, including McCorkle, in the magazine.
McCorkle made a stunning debut when her first two novels were published on the same day in 1984. McCorkle grew up in Lumberton and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. Her sister, Jan Gane, is a member of UNCP’s English and Theatre faculty.
Of her debut novels, the New York Times Book Review said, “One suspects the author of ‘The Cheer Leader’ is a born novelist; with ‘July 7th,’ she is also a full grown one.”
The New York Times review proved true, and McCorkle’s career blossomed with four subsequent novels and five short story collections. Five of her books have been named New York Times “notable books.”
“Life After Life”is set in a retirement community. The residents and workers and friends of the long-term care facility are diverse, but all are searching for the secret to happiness. As always, her characters crackle with personality and her ear for dialogue is spectacular.
In pre-release reviews, “Life After Life” is being hailed as another work of art from a reliably brilliant writer.
“Jill McCorkle’s ‘Life After Life’ just blew me away,” said Tom Campbell of The Regulator Bookshop in Durham. “It has heart, wisdom, humor, beautiful writing and great storytelling. Jill's incredible characters come at you from all over the place—young, old, rich, poor, down-home and sophisticated, smart and too smart for their own good. How can I tell you how wonderful this book is? It does pretty much everything a great novel should—except, maybe, make you want to live in a retirement home!”
McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature.
Four of her stories have been selected for “Best American Short Stories,” and several are included in “New Stories from the South.” Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, The Southern Review and Pembroke Magazine, among others.McCorkle, who will teach a class in creative writing while at UNCP, has taught at Harvard, UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts and Brandeis universities. She currently teaches creative writing in the Master of Fine Arts program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a frequent instructor in the Sewanee Summer Writers Program.
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