J. Robert Lennon Nov. 5 and 7

Author of Familiar, Mailman and Castle to read from work, discuss craft of fiction

J. Robert Lennon (courtesy of the author)

Elisa Brown is driving back from her annual, somber visit to her son Silas’ grave when something changes. Actually, everything changes: her car, her clothes, her body. When she arrives back home, her life is familiar — but different. There is her house, her husband. But in the world she now inhabits, Silas is no longer dead, and his brother Sam is disturbingly changed.

So begins Familiar, the most recent novel by J. Robert Lennon. This month, Lennon will serve as the Visiting Hurst Professor of Creative Writing at Washington University in St. Louis.

While on campus, Lennon will present two public events as part of The Writing Program in Arts & Sciences’ fall Reading Series.

Lennon will read present a talk on the craft of fiction at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5. In addition, he will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.

Both events are free and open to the public and take place in Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall. A reception and book signing will immediately follow each.

For more information, call (314) 935-7428.

J. Robert Lennon

Lennon is the author of a story collection, Pieces For The Left Hand, and seven novels, including Mailman, Castle and Happyland.

“Over the last decade, J. Robert Lennon’s literary imagination has grown increasingly morbid, convoluted and peculiar,” writes The New York Times Book Review, “just as his books have grown commensurately more surprising, rigorous and fun.”

Lennon holds a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Montana, and he has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Playboy, Granta, The Paris Review, Electric Literature and elsewhere. He has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. His story “The Rememberer” inspired the CBS detective series Unforgettable.

Lennon lives in Ithaca, New York, and teaches writing at Cornell University. He hosts the podcast Writers at Cornell, and co-hosts another, Lunch Box, with poet Ed Skoog. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian and the London Review of Books.