Authors on Stage: Bill Roorbach

Category: Authors on Stage
Location: Adrian Lamb Room

Bill Roorbach is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Flannery O'Connor Prize and O. Henry Prize winner Big Bend (University of Georgia Press, 2001), Into Woods (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003), and Temple Stream (Random House, 2005). Life Among Giants, a novel, is due from Algonquin in 2012. The 10th anniversary edition of his craft book, Writing Life Stories (Story Press, 2008), is used in writing programs around the world.

Recently, Bill was a judge on Food Network All Star Challenge, evaluating incredible Life Stories cakes made under the gun, so to speak. Bill knows nothing about cake, but he knows a lot about life stories! His work has been published in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, New York, and dozens of other magazines and journals. His story "Big Bend" was featured on NPR's "Selected Shorts," read by actor James Cromwell at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Bill has taught at the University of Maine at Farmington, Colby College, and Ohio State. His last academic position was the Jenks Chair in Contemporary American Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts. He has now retired from academia in order to write full time. (from the author's website.)

Life Among Giants - fom Booklist: David “Lizard” Hochmeyer is enormous, nearly seven feet tall, and so is the labyrinth of tragedy and revenge he navigates in Roorbach’s novel. The high-school football star is headed to Princeton and then an NFL career when his parents are murdered. Both his and his sister’s lives are irreparably shaken and become significantly intertwined with the world-famous ballerina who lives nearby. Roorbach has created a memorable narrator who possesses the disarming frankness of Holden Caulfield and whose rapid-fire delivery and cutting characterizations expertly shift between memories and the present moment. Lizard keeps this part-mystery, part-coming-of-age-tale humming, as the cavalcade of revelations rolls by, prompting the reader to echo Lizard’s signature, “Whoa!” This is one of those novels you read because you care about what happens to the people and the connections between them as those connections grow, fray, and snap. By turns surreal and gritty, the book is written with the same muscular grace possessed by the dancers and athletes who are its main charaters. --Bridget Thoreson

The book's release date is November 13.  Reserve it today.