Author Colm Tóibín to headline 2017 Kenyon Review Literary Festival

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GAMBIER, Ohio — Colm Tóibín, an acclaimed author whose novels include “Brooklyn,” “The Blackwater Lightship” and “The Master,” will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Kenyon Review Literary Festival, held Nov. 10-11.

Tóibín is this year’s recipient of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, chosen by Kenyon Review editors in conjunction with the Kenyon Review Board of Trustees. His Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture will be held Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall, 105 College Drive.

Widely recognized as one of the English language’s most gifted prose writers, Tóibín delves into human conflicts involving identity, sexuality and family with deep insight and dramatic grace. Among his nine novels are “The Blackwater Lightship,” which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and adapted for film; “The Master,” winner of the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; “Brooklyn”; “The Testament of Mary,” which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and “House of Names.” He has authored two short story collections: “Mothers and Sons” and “The Empty Family.”

“Colm Tóibín is one of the most exciting, innovative and powerful novelists in the contemporary world,” said David Lynn, editor of the Kenyon Review. “His writing is always lyrical and vivid, yet each work is different — not just in subject and focus, but in the very language used to create a world.”

The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement is given annually to honor careers of extraordinary achievement that have shaped the American literary landscape. Previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates and 1952 Kenyon graduate E.L. Doctorow. Tóibín will be presented with his award at the Kenyon Review Awards Gala on Thursday, Nov. 9, in New York City.

The Kenyon Review Literary Festival schedule:
These events are free and open to the public.

Friday, Nov. 10
* Reading by Nate Marshall at 8 p.m. in Peirce Hall’s Peirce Lounge, 201 College-Park St. Marshall is the author of “Wild Hundreds,” winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s award for Poetry of the Book of the Year, the Agnes Lynch Starrett prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award.

Saturday, Nov. 11
* Screening of “Brooklyn” at 11 a.m. in the Gund Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater, 101 ½ College Drive. Based on Colm Tóibín’s award-winning novel, “Brooklyn” premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.
* Sidewalk sale starting at noon outside the Kenyon College Bookstore, temporarily located at 112 Gaskin Ave. Browse a wide selection of literary magazines and small-press books during the daylong sale.
* Reading with Elissa Washuta and Nick White at 1:30 p.m. in the Finn House’s Cheever Room, 102 W. Wiggin St. Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is a writer of personal essays and memoir. She authored the books “Starvation Mode” and “My Body is a Book of Rules,” named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. White is the author of “How To Survive a Summer,” published this year.
* Roundtable discussion titled “Thresholds and Thin Places: Writing Between Worlds,” at 3 p.m. in the Finn House’s Cheever Room. Elissa Washuta and Nick White, assistant professors of English at Ohio State University, join Visiting Assistant Professor of English Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine and Professor of Spanish Katherine Hedeen for a discussion of the complexities of writing between, across and among different worlds. Conversation will be moderated by Janet McAdams, Kenyon’s Robert P. Hubbard Professor in Poetry.
* The Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture: An Evening with Colm Tóibín at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall, 105 College Drive. Tóibín is the author of numerous critically acclaimed works, including “The Blackwater Lightship,” “Brooklyn” and “The Master.” A book signing will follow.

View the full Literary Festival schedule here. (