Saunders will visit Lawrence on Tuesday, October 10 at 7 PM at Liberty Hall in partnership with the University of Kansas Libraries and presented as part of the Libraries Love Lawrence initiative. Doors will open at 6 PM. A book signing follows the program and Raven Bookstore will sell copies of Mr. Saunders’ books.
The festivities include a live reading from Lincoln in the Bardo.
Members of Lawrence’s own Card Table Theater (Kitty Steffens of Arturo Ui fame and LPL’s Sarah Mathews), LPL executive director Brad Allen, host and KU English Department lecturer Adam Desnoyers, LPL Foundation’s Alice Ann Johnston, and Woodlawn Elementary 4th grader Alice Dorsey will perform a live reading from Lincoln in the Bardo with the author himself — George Saunders!
“George Saunders is a literary master at his peak,” said Brad Allen, Lawrence Public Library executive director. “He is a New York Times bestselling author, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant winner, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.”
Best known as a master of the short story, Saunders published his first novel in February 2017. Lincoln in the Bardo debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and his son, Willie, who died in 1862. A grief-stricken Lincoln visits the crypt several times to hold his son’s body. That event inspired Saunders to set his novel in the bardo—a Tibetan purgatory—populated by bickering spirits that are both hilarious and terrifying. This month the book was one of 13 novels to earn a place on the prestigious Man Booker Prize longlist.
Following his public program at Liberty Hall, Saunders will visit KU on October 11 for a conversation with students on his creative writing process. “What an incredible opportunity for our students to learn from one of America’s most accomplished authors,” said Kevin Smith, Dean of KU Libraries. “We are honored to partner with Lawrence Public Library on this project.”
The program is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required.
ABOUT THE SERIES
A gift to our community from the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation, this special series brings a prominent author to Lawrence each year. The series debuted in 2014 with National Book Award winner James McBride, followed by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Karen Russell (2015) and Pulitzer prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks (2016). The Libraries Love Lawrence initiative is a partnership of Lawrence Public Library and KU Libraries that works to build a stronger, more efficient and engaged library presence in Lawrence.