NEWPORT, R.I. - American novelist and short story writer Bob Shacochis, winner of the National Book Award, will present a public talk about his latest novel, “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul,” which has been receiving critical acclaim.
Shacochis’s talk, free and open to the public, will be presented at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20 in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue.
Where other contemporary novelists begin their attempts to delineate the conflict between East and West with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Shacochis reaches deeper, drawing on his extensive firsthand experience as a war correspondent to illuminate the simmering political, cultural, and historical global struggle through riveting and richly layered fiction, presenting an intimate portrait of the catastrophic events that led up to the war on terror and the America we have become.
Renowned for his gritty and revelatory visions of the Caribbean, Shacochis returns to occupied Haiti with “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul” before sweeping across time and continents to unravel tangled knots of romance, espionage and vengeance. In gripping prose, Shacochis builds a complex and disturbing story about America’s coming of age in a pre-9/11 world. The Washington Post wrote about the work: “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is a spy novel the way Moby-Dick is a fishing tale.”
Shacochis’s first collection of stories, “Easy In the Islands,” won the National Book Award for First Fiction, and his second collection, “The Next New World,” was awarded the Prix de Rome from the Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the author of the novel, “Swimming in the Volcano,” a finalist for the National Book Award, and “The Immaculate Invasion,” a work of literary reportage that was a finalist for The New Yorker Literary Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year.
During an Aug. 31 interview on National Public Radio, Shacochis defined his mission as a writer. “I consider myself a writer who writes about American expatriates,” he said. “And if I have any overt cause as a writer besides writing the best prose I can, it’s to try to make Americans have a more visceral feeling about how America impacts everybody in the world.”
Shacochis is a contributing editor for Outside, and his op-eds on the U.S. military, Haiti, and Florida politics have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal
University celebrates launch of new creative writing minor
Shacochis’s talk at Salve Regina helps the university’s English department celebrate the launch of its new minor in creative writing. The program will be coordinated by its new writer-in-residence and assistant professor, Jen McClanaghan.
McClanaghan grew up in New Canaan, Conn. She earned her undergraduate degree from Antioch College then moved to New York City where she worked in publishing for seven years, including a job as a photo editor for the National Audubon Society Field Guides. She graduated from Columbia University with an MFA (2004) and Florida State University with a PhD (2009).
As a resident scholar at The Southern Review,, she edited the Spring 2010 Americana issue and taught in LSU's English department.
A finalist in the Third Coast Poetry Contest ion 2010, she was also a Best New Poets nominee and Pushcart Prize nominee in 2009 and won the Georgetown Review Poetry Prize in 2008.
(Bob Shacochis photo credit: Kelly Lee Butler)