University of Richmond will welcome two celebrated authors to campus this academic year for its annual Writers Series. Paul Beatty and Mohsin Hamid will offer readings from their novels that touch on issues of race, religion and globalism.

November 13, 2017
Paul Beatty: Author of “The White Boy Shuffle,” “Tuff,” “Slumberland” and “The Sellout”
Beatty began his literary career as a poet, winning the inaugural Grand Poetry Slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café in 1990. The New York Times described his coming-of-age novel “The White Boy Shuffle” as a “blast of satirical heat coming from the talented heart of black American life.” In 2016 he became the first American to win the Man Booker Prize with “The Sellout,” which also won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. The Los Angeles Times described “The Sellout,” a satire about an urban farmer who revitalizes slavery in an imaginary Los Angeles neighborhood, as “among the most important and difficult American novels written in the 21st century,” and The Wall Street Journal called it “Swiftian satire of the highest order.”

March 28, 2018
Mohsin Hamid: Author of “Moth Smoke,” “Exit West,” “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”
Hamid is perhaps best known for his 2007 novel, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and made into a film by Mira Nair in 2013. A graduate of Princeton University (where he studied with Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Morrison) and Harvard Law School, Hamid began his career as a management consultant before his first novel, “Moth Smoke,” was named a finalist for the 2000 PEN/Hemingway Award. His most recent novel, “Exit West,” mixes the real and surreal as it follows the lives of a young couple fleeing their unnamed city after the onset of war. NPR described the book as “the best writing of Hamid’s career,” and The Atlantic called it a “remarkable accomplishment…not putting a human face on refugees so much as putting a refugee face on all of humankind.”

“Exposing our campus community to authors of this caliber is a wonderful opportunity to take a look at real and relevant issues like race and globalism in a way one may not have thought about before,” said David Stevens, English professor and event organizer. “To encounter the work of either writer is to forget what we think we know about the issues at hand, letting ourselves be drawn past superficial characterizations into unfamiliar depths.”

Writers Series events are free and open to the public and will take place in Weinstein Hall, Brown Alley Room at 7 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the writers and participate in a Q & A. Book signings will follow each event.

This event series is sponsored by the Department of English and the School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.

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Associate Professor of English
Chair, Department of English
Creative Writing
American Literature (19th Century to the present)
The Short Story
The Western
Canadian Literature