Writer-in-residence Lucy Ferriss will open the Trinity College English Department’s Fall 2015 Allan K. Smith Reading Series on Wednesday, September 16, at 4:30 p.m. at the Smith House (123 Vernon Street).
The author of 10 books, Ferriss will read from and discuss her latest novel, A Sister to Honor, which was chosen as a 2015 Great Group Read by the Women’s National Booksellers Association. Set on the campus of a fictional New England college, A Sister to Honor has received many enthusiastic reviews, including one from novelist and social anthropologist Jenny White, who wrote: “A wrenching story of Pakistani siblings struggling to adapt their expectations of love and trust to an entirely different American context where a Facebook post can lead to betrayal and the destruction of an entire family a world away. The story is told with compassion and insight into the traditions of both societies. I couldn’t put it down.”
Asked about the upcoming A.K. Smith series event, Ferriss said, “I’m excited to be reading on the campus that inspired the story.” While on sabbatical last semester, Ferriss spent much of her time traveling around the U.S. for readings and appearances at bookstores, libraries, and writers’ conferences. Among her presentations was one titled “Love, Honor, and Squash: Field Research for Fiction,” for alumni attending Trinity’s Reunion in June, in which she detailed how her research for the book took her from Trinity’s own squash courts to the remote Pashtun villages of Pakistan.
As Ferriss shared in a recent New England Public Radio interview about A Sister to Honor, the concept of honor, both throughout the world of sports and among different cultures, is a significant theme of the novel.
A faculty member at Trinity since 2000, Ferriss teaches courses in fiction writing, contemporary American literature, narrative theory, and Native American literature and culture. She writes regularly for The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca blog. Ferriss received a B.A. from Pomona College, M.A. degrees from San Francisco State University and Tufts University, and holds a Ph.D. from Tufts.
Other writers in the Allan K. Smith Reading Series will be poet David Baker on October 1; novelist Jim Shepard ’78 on October 21; author Heidi Julavits on November 18; and poet Kimiko Hahn on December 10. All readings are free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow each event.
Written by Kathy Andrews