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“Literary Landscapes: A Discussion of New Orleans Before and After Katrina”

Loyola press release - February 24, 2006

Loyola University New Orleans will host the second event in The Renewal Series, “Literary Landscapes: A Discussion of New Orleans Before and After Katrina,” on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m., in Roussel Hall. Award-winning writers Richard Ford and John Biguenet will discuss the literary landscape in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. Loyola joins Tulane, Dillard, and Xavier universities, and the Aspen Institute to present The Renewal Series, which focuses on New Orleans’ rich cultural heritage.

Richard Ford lived in New Orleans for many years and is a novelist and author of short stories. His book Independence Day, a sequel to his earlier novel The Sportswriter, was the first novel to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Other honors Ford has received include the Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, two grants from the national Endowment for the Arts, and the 1994 REA Award. His most recent works include the short story collections Women with Men and A Multitude of Sins. Ford's forthcoming novel, The Lay of the Land, will be published by Alfred A. Knopf, in October.

A 1971 Loyola graduate, Biguenet is the author of The Torturer’s Apprentice, a short story collection, and Oyster, a novel, among other books. Since 1977, Biguenet has taught English at Loyola and currently holds the Robert Hunter Distinguished Professorship. Former president of the American Literary Translators Association and a New York Times guest columnist, he is the winner of an O. Henry Award for short fiction and a Harper’s Magazine writing award. His play, The Vulgar Soul, won the 2004 Southern New Plays Festival; his new play, Rising Water, will premiere in 2007.

The mission of the Aspen Institute is to foster enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and appreciation for timeless values.

A book signing will follow the discussion. This event is open to the public.