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Award-winning Nixon to read

BY DI ARTS STAFF | OCTOBER 13, 2009 7:20 AM

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Today at 7 p.m., Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., will host a reading from award-winning author Cornelia Nixon.

The Boston native has written two novels, a collection of several short stories, and a nonfiction essay on author D.H. Lawrence’s irreverent treatment of women in his writing.

She teaches in the M.F.A. program at Mills College in Oakland, Calif. She graduated from the University of California-Berkeley, where she wrote “Lawrence’s Leadership Politics and the Turn Against Women” as her dissertation. The work looks at D.H. Lawrence’s sexual and emotional influences on his societal and political positions.

Now You See It is her collection of short stories told from the perspective of different members of one family. All of the characters live in Berkeley during a time of political and social upheaval.

Angels Go Naked is a novel composed of 11 different short stories that interweave throughout the book. This format has brought her the most fame.

Tonight, Nixon will read from Jarrettsville, her most recent novel. It is set in the late-19th century in northern Maryland and is based partially on Nixon’s own family history and summers spent on farmland. The story focuses on a murder mystery amid rising racial tensions. She plays with her timeline to weave a dynamic, multilayered story.

Nixon has received many awards for her writing, including two O. Henry Awards, two Pushcart Prizes, a Nelson Algren Award, and the Carl Sandburg Award. She has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe.

— by Greta-Hagen Richardson


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