University of Rochester

Writer William Gass to Speak at New Works-in-Progress Series

October 26, 2005

Critically acclaimed fiction writer and essayist William Gass will speak at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus. His talk is free and open to the public.

Gass is emeritus professor of philosophy and the David May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. His fiction has received consistent critical praise since the publication of his first novel, Omensetter's Luck, in 1966. Besides novels, he is the author of several story collections, including Cartesian Sonata (1998), as well as several collections of essays, including Fiction and the Figures of Life (1971) and Finding a Form (1996). His novel The Time Tunnel, a work he spent 30 years writing, was published in 1995 and is considered his masterpiece.

Gass received his doctorate in philosophy from Cornell University in 1954 and joined the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis in 1969. Throughout his career as both a faculty member and a writer, Gass has received numerous literary awards and grants.

Among his most prestigious honors are two National Book Critics Circle awards, the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. In addition, he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1982. Gass was the first recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award "For celebrating the accomplishments of an author whose body of work represents achievement in a variety of literary genres, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship."

His talk is part of a new Works-in-Progress Reading Series sponsored by the Department of English and by the Dean of the College. For more information, contact (585) 275-4092.