Gary Pinkel has the distinction of being the most successful football coach at not one, but two different universities – not just at Mizzou, but also at the University of Toledo before that. His book, The 100 Yard Journey: A Life in Coaching and Battling for the Win, tells his personal story. Come and hear him and his co-author, Dave Matter, discuss what makes a successful coach and some of the lessons that Pinkel has learned during his stellar career.
Recital Hall, 10:00-11:00
As Groucho Marx famously said, he’d never join a club that would have him as a member. We all struggle with the dilemma of belonging, or not. Nye (All The Castles Burned) gives us a gripping portrait of a schoolboy’s complicated relationship with a charismatic upper classman, who takes him under his sinister wing. In contrast, Sloan (Sourdough) presents a protagonist who struggles to have a relationship with anyone – her most meaningful friendship is with a bowl of sentient sourdough starter. Ultimately, both Nye and Sloan show that membership of any club is not without its complications.
Best-selling novelist Fowler (Z: A Novel and the forthcoming A Well-Behaved Woman) weaves fiction out of the lives of real people. In contrast, her husband, award-winning science fiction writer Kessel (Pride and Prometheus and The Moon and the Other), creates whole new worlds to tell his stories. Fowler and Kessel will discuss their different approaches to the craft of fiction – and they’ll talk about what it’s like being married to another writer.
Attenberg (All Grown Up) and Rooney (Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk) address a common theme – the lives of strong, independent women in New York City – in wonderfully different ways. Attenberg’s protagonist, Andrea Bern, is about to turn forty; Rooney’s Lillian Boxfish is more than twice that age. Both are wryly hysterical, sharp observers of their own foibles, as well as everyone else’s – rather like their creators.
Poet Tess Taylor and MU Creative Writing Professor Julija Sukys both use archival research to uncover material for their work – and both learned that when you go looking in an archive, you never quite know what you’ll find. While researching their most recent books, Taylor (The Forage House) and Sukys (Siberian Exile) made some unexpected discoveries, which forced each to re-evaluate what they thought they knew about their own family histories.
As biographers, Watts and Scharnhorst are not afraid to tackle the most iconic of personalities: their most recent subjects have been, respectively, JFK and Mark Twain. Come and hear them discuss the challenges and rewards of writing other people’s lives. The conversation will be moderated by yet another very distinguished biographer, Steve Weinberg.
Henderson (The Flicker of Old Dreams) and Scholes Young (Flood) have both written exquisite novels set in small towns. Their books beautifully analyze the complex relationships that exist between their characters and the places where they grew up. Some people never leave, some are unable to stay away – it’s all rendered with touching, pitch-perfect precision, which will resonate with readers everywhere. Hear about how these two novelists set about capturing the particular essence of small town America.
Yarbrough (The Unmade World) and Keener (Strangers in Budapest) have both written gorgeous, haunting novels which examine, among other things, the complicated sense of dislocation that comes from being an American abroad. What do we leave behind on these shores? What do we take with us?