Writers’ Workshop Presents Debra Monroe

Debra Monroe
Debra Monroe

During her last visit to the Williston Northampton School in 2010, Debra Monroe talked about her moving memoir, On the Outskirts of Normal, the unsentimental story about a white woman who adopts a black baby in small town Texas.

Ms. Monroe’s latest memoir finds her reaching even farther back into her history for a tale that’s both arresting and full of wit and poise. On November 3, she returns to Williston for the 2015 Writers Workshop Series, where she will discuss My Unsentimental Education, the story of her journey from the working class in Spooner, Wisconsin to the professional class in Austin, Texas.

As with all lectures in the series, Ms. Monroe’s talk is free and open to the public and will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room, Reed Campus Center.

Ms. Monroe, who teaches at Texas State University, has written The Source of Trouble, which won the prestigious Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; A Wild, Cold State, a book of stories; and the novels Newfangled and Shambles. In 2010, she published her first memoir, which focused on her experiences with her daughter in a small Texas town.

Her newest memoir, My Unsentimental Education, explores the gritty side of Ms. Monroe’s hometown of Spooner, Wisconsin—with its farms, bars and strip joints—and her journey from that point. As Phillip Lopate writes, “This picaresque memoir of a woman with brains and desires (not always operating in unison) is a joy. It tracks a runaway life with consummate control and aphoristic wit.”

The Writers’ Workshop Series was created by celebrated authors and Williston parents Madeleine Blais P’00, ’04 and Elinor Lipman P’00 in 1998. During the series, which takes place each fall, four well-established writers visit campus to give public lectures and offer hands-on instruction with students.

This year, the series has already featured talks by American journalist and author David Maraniss and documentarian Ian Cheney. The final lecture with novelist John Katzenbach will take place on November 9 in the Dodge Room.

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