The Friends of Hackney Library association is pleased to welcome writer Drew Perry as featured speaker at its Spring 2018 Dinner/Lecture program on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. The event will be held in Hardy Alumni Hall on the campus of Barton College.
A book signing and wine reception will be held from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30 pm with the program commencing immediately afterward. Perry will be on hand to sign copies of his books at the event, which will be available for purchase both at the book signing and following the program.
Perry is the author of two humorous novels as well as several short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction works, and he is a regular contributor to Our State magazine. An Associate Professor of English at Elon University, he is described on its web site as “a family man . . . [who] writes about relatable challenges and fears involving fatherhood, parenting, marriage, love, and life in general.”
Perry’s first novel, This Is Just Exactly Like You, was a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, a Best-of-the-Year pick from The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and a SIBA Okra pick. It has proven to be a favorite of critics and fellow novelists alike. Author Jill McCorkle summarizes it this way:
Drew Perry’s wonderful debut will hold readers spellbound from beginning to end—think A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in a small college town, plus a dog named Yul Brynner. The estranged grownups switch partners and dance back and forth with some of the liveliest dialogue I’ve read in years, all while struggling to come face to face with reality. And at the center of this often comical, sometimes tragic chaos is that reality—a child, Hendrick, brilliant and autistic—with the power to ultimately pull this cast of memorable characters back into the light of day, and give them new perspective on what is most important. Perry is a gifted writer, and this novel, with its wit and warmth and wisdom, is an absolute winner.
Kids These Days, Perry’s second novel, is also highly acclaimed: It was an Amazon Best-of-the-Month pick and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ “Winter’s Best Bets” and “Books So Funny You’re Guaranteed to Laugh” lists. Author Dave Barry has this to say about it: “A terrific writer, Perry has written a wonderful book about a man dealing with—among other things—the angst of impending fatherhood. It’s sweet, soulful, smart, and funny as hell. A great read.” A Library Journal review calls the book “[a] timely look at contemporary America, with its unexpected economic setbacks and the bargains made to surmount them. Readers of Nick Hornby, Dave Eggers, and Jonathan Tropper should enjoy this compelling novel, the story of a man in transition that might lure a few Florida fiction fans as well.” Matt Simmons of Southern Literary Review says Perry’s Kids “can be read as the strongest statement yet about the new middle-American ‘normal’ . . . . An entertaining and very emotionally satisfying story . . . . Drew Perry might have written the perfect novel for our times.”
While his first two novels each feature a contemporary setting, a single narrator, and cover a relatively short span of time, Perry’s third effort is a bit more complex. According to Elon University, his current work-in-progress is “more ambitious in size and scope.” Titled Dear Firecracker, this third novel, “situated around two Space Shuttle disasters of 1986 and 2003, is historical, with multiple narrators. It aims to be a Big American Novel, a book that asks big questions and seeks to comment on the American Experiment in more direct ways than his other two.”
Perry is a native of Jacksonville, Florida but grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Journalism (because “he discovered creative writing too late to major in it,” according to a February 23, 2014 interview with Isaac Groves of Times-News). He then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has been teaching at Elon University since 1999.
He is married to Tita Ramirez, fellow writer and Associate Professor of English at Elon University; they have two young sons and live in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Admission to the event is $30 each for Friends of Hackney Library members, and for Barton faculty/staff, students, and spouses. For all other guests, admission is $35 each.
For more information about invitations for the event, please contact Ann Dolman at (252) 399-6507, or email the Friends of Hackney Library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited, and after invitations have been issued in late February/early March, the deadline for reservations is Monday, March 26, 2018.
Please join us for a humorous evening with this entertaining author and speaker.
Coming Fall 2018–Vivian Howard, renowned chef, author, restaurateur, and TV personality–stay tuned for more details!