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Novelist, alumnus Gerald Duff to visit Gray Library

duffGerald Duff, novelist and Lamar University alumnus, will visit the LU campus April 18 to read excerpts from his literary works and discuss his education and memories from the university. The program begins at 7 p.m. on the eighth floor of the Mary and John Gray Library.

Duff will also talk about creative writing to the department’s fiction writing seminar students at 1 p.m. in the Maes Building, Room 101.

Duff graduated from LU in 1961 with a degree in English after changing majors from electrical engineering his junior year, during which time, he worked on the Lamar English department’s literary magazine “Pulse.” He went on to receive a master of arts from the University of Arkansas and a doctor of philosophy in English from the University of Illinois. He has won the Cohen Award for Fiction from Ploughshares Magazine and the St. Andrews Prize for Poetry and has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Prize, an Edgar Allen Poe Award and an International eBook Award. Duff’s most recent honor is for his novel “Blue Sabine,” which won an award of merit from the Philosophical Society of Texas for the best book about Texas published in 2011.

Duff will read from his memoir “Home Truths,” which deals with his days at Lamar.

He said for him, literature became the “main course” of his education, which led him to pursue graduate degrees in English.

“All other study (mathematical, scientific, and social) is the menu of side courses, the enriching support for literature,” he said.

Duff will also discuss passages from some of his most recent novels, “Blue Sabine,” a family saga about East Texas, and “Dirty Rice: A Season in the Evangeline League,” a baseball novel set in the 1930s in Louisiana.

Funds for the discussions are provided by the Lamar University office of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the Department of English and Modern Languages.

The Lamar Bookstore will have Duff’s works available for purchase. Duff will be available for book signings after the discussions.

For additional information, contact Jim Sanderson, chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, at(409) 880-8591.