Novelist and short story writer Richard Bausch will read from his works at Writers in the Library, 7 p.m., Monday, March 9, in the John C. Hodges Library auditorium.
Bausch has published 18 novels and short story collections and he currently holds the Moss Chair of Excellence at the University of Memphis. His books include Real Presence, The Last Good Time, The Fireman’s Wife and Other Stories, Rare and Endangered Species, Hello to the Cannibals, and most recently, Peace. His fiction has appeared in numerous periodicals, including Harper’s, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker and has been represented in anthologies like O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories.
From a 2003 Washington Post interview with Richard Bausch:
ON THE PROCESS OF WRITING: “I start writing with an image or a voice, but I don’t know anything when I start. The only thing I know is that I’m starting. And learn it as I go. . . The real artistry comes with rewriting. And that’s where the real work is. But at no time is it a rational thing that I’m doing. It’s at the level of an animal smelling blood. It’s that kind of knowledge. And if it does not surprise me, I don’t trust it.”
ON CREATING CHARACTERS: “It’s all imagination. It’s all made up. I never use any models. There’s an explanation of that . . . it has to do with Flannery O’Connor’s comment that a good story is literal in the same sense that a child’s drawing is literal.”
ON THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN GENRES: “I always write stories, and I write poems, too. I just never sell them to anybody, but I write them. They’re good, too. They never leave the house. They’re too disclosing. I get to hide in the fiction. Once I thought I had a novel and it turned out it was only a short story. I wrote about 800 pages, but it ended up being a short story. And if it ever happens to me again, I Will Go Insane.”
ON TEACHING: “I don’t teach writing. I teach patience. Toughness. Stubbornness. The willingness to fail. . . I love teaching. If I made a trillion dollars I would still teach.”
The Writers in the Library series is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the Creative Writing Program of the UT English Department. For further information, please contact Jo Anne Deeken, head of technical services, UT Libraries, at 974-6913 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kali Meister, Jack E. Reese writer in residence, UT Libraries, at email@example.com.