Novelist Devin Murphy next guest of Hoggard Reading Series, Speakers & Issues

Novelist Devin Murphy next guest of Hoggard Reading Series, Speakers & Issues

Novelist Devin Murphy next guest of Hoggard Reading Series, Speakers & Issues

The James Hoggard Reading Series in conjunction with the Speakers & Issues Series will present novelist Devin Murphy at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas.

Murphy is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and author of The Boat Runner. His latest novel, Tiny Americans, follows the Thurber family through more than 30 years of their lives. The three Thurber children learn to navigate life after their father leaves them and as they become adults and have children of their own. As they mature, they find that their childhood is something they cannot escape even though life has scattered them across the country. "à each wear their childhoods around them like a fleece they cannot shed," Murphy says.

In a press release, Murphy says that when he was a child, his mother would go through other people's garbage searching for metal, embarrassing the boy. She welded the metal into sculptures that young Murphy loved, creating an odd mix of shame and pride that was hidden behind a high fence. "à this book is my trying to collect the refuse of my own life and turn it into something both sharp-edged and lovely, and then to knock down the fence," he said.

Copies of Murphy's books will be available for purchase after the presentation and he will be on hand to sign them.

Murphy's fiction has appeared in more than 60 literary journals and anthologies, including The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, the Chicago Tribune, New Stories from the Midwest, and Confrontation. He lives with his wife and children in Chicago.

James Hoggard retired in 2013 as the Perkins-Prothro Distinguished Professor of English after teaching at MSU since 1966. In honor of his contributions to MSU Texas, Wichita Falls, and the broader literary community, the James Hoggard Reading Series brings award-winning writers and poets from across the nation to campus. Visiting writers give a public reading of their creative work and interact with students in the classroom, providing valuable insight and guidance into the world of publishing, contemporary literature, and the writing life. It is supported by the Bryan L. Lawrence Endowment; the Department of English, Humanities, & Philosophy; and the Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Speakers and Issues Series began in 2001 with the idea of bringing informed and creative speakers to the academic and municipal communities. Since then, more than 20 speakers have come to MSU from all corners of the country. It is supported by the Libra Foundation, MSU's Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Wichita Falls Times Record News, KCCU-FM NPR Radio, and KFDX-TV3.

This event is free and open to the public. Contact Dr. John Schulze at 940-397-6249 or for more information.