Lyon College will host the 21st annual Leila Lenore Heasley Prize lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Bevens Music Room. Novelist Clyde Edgerton, winner of the 2017 Heasley Prize, will present a public reading of his work.
A native of North Carolina, Edgerton comes from a cotton and tobacco-farming family. After college, he served for five years in the U. S. Air Force, flying in the U.S., Japan, Korea and Thailand.
After leaving the Air Force, Edgerton earned his master's and doctorate in English and began teaching. He began writing in his 30s after being inspired by Eudora Welty.
Edgerton is now the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, and several short stories and essays. Five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books, and three of them have been made into movies: "Raney," "Walking Across Egypt" and Killer Diller.
Edgerton’s short stories and essays have been published in the New York Times, "Best American Short Stories," Southern Review, Oxford American, Garden & Gun and many other publications.
Edgerton often sets his stories and novels in small southern towns, peopling them with distinct, colorful and beloved characters. In "Walking Across Egypt," he brings together a 78-year-old Baptist widow, Mattie Rigsbee, and a foul-mouthed teenaged delinquent, Wesley Benfield. In a warm, amusing series of events, the two find solace in each other’s company, and a mutual healing ensues as Mattie becomes Wesley’s guardian.
Outside his craft, Edgerton is also a musician and promises that a little music will feature in his public reading.
Edgerton has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Kristina, and their children.
This event is free and open to the public.
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