Douglas Trevor (associate professor of English) will read a short excerpt from his new novel, Girls I Know, followed by a conversation with Eileen Pollack (professor of English), and ending with audience Q & A.
About the book: In the winter of 2001, 29-year-old Walt Steadman—grad school dropout, sperm donor, and holder of other odd jobs—survives a shooting in his favorite Boston café that leaves four people dead. In this tragedy’s wake, Walt is forced to contemplate what, if anything, he has made of his life. This process quickly becomes entangled with two new relationships: one with an ambitious Harvard undergraduate named Ginger Newton who is writing a book called Girls I Know that explores – and possibly exploits – other women’s stories; and another with 11-year-old Mercedes Bittles, who lost her parents in the shootings. As he opens up to both “girls,” reluctantly accepting Ginger’s financial support while tutoring the unsettled and taciturn Mercedes, Walt opens up, too, to his own dormant ambitions and the ability to shape his future.
Douglas Trevor is the author of the novel Girls I Know (SixOneSeven Books, 2013), and the short story collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space (University of Iowa Press, 2005). Thin Tear won the 2005 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the 2006 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, Epoch, Black Warrior Review, The New England Review, and about a dozen other literary magazines. He lives in Ann Arbor, where he is an associate professor of Renaissance literature and creative writing in the English department at the University of Michigan.
Eileen Pollack is the professor of English at the University of Michigan. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction, The Rabbi in the Attic And Other Stories, a novel, Paradise, New York, and a work of creative nonfiction called Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull, which won a 2003 WILLA finalist award. Her stories have appeared in journals such as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, SubTropics, Agni, and New England Review; her novella "The Bris" was chosen to appear in the Best American Short Stories 2007 anthology, edited by Stephen King, while her stories have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes, the Cohen Award for best fiction of the year from Ploughshares, and similar awards from Literary Review and MQR.
The Author's Forum is a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, & Ann Arbor Book Festival.