THIBODAUX, La. — Acclaimed author and preeminent coming-of-age writer Mary Miller will be the guest lecturer for the 2019 Fletcher Lecture series on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Miller will host a question-and-answer session at 11 a.m. in Le Bijou Theatre. At 6 p.m., she will discuss her works and themes in a lecture in the Gouaux Hall auditorium with a book signing afterward. The question-and-answer and talk are free and open to the public.
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Miller has authored two short story collections and two novels. She published collections “Big World” and “Always Happy Hour” in 2009 and 2017. The National Book Review called “Always Happy Hour,” a “stunning collection of short fiction involving complicated, unprivileged women on the precipice of adulthood.”
Her first novel “The Last Days of California,” was published in 2014. It follows the story of a 14-year old girl as she travels with her evangelical father from Alabama to California to witness the rapture. The novel received praise from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Oprah’s Book Club. Her second novel, “Biloxi,” published this year, has already earned praise from USA Today and NPR.
Her stories have appeared in publications worldwide, including The Paris Review, the Oxford American, The Best of McSweeney’s Quarterly, and American Short Fiction, among others.
Miller is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction at the University of Texas and Jon and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is now a visiting assistant professor of English at Mississippi University for Women.
Sponsored by the Fletcher Lecture Committee, the Department of Languages & Literature and the Nicholls Student Programming Association, the Fletcher Lecture Series is in its 36th year.
Last year, renowned author Yuri Herrera was the guest speaker. Other speakers have included NPR radio host Nick Spitzer; Benh Zeitlin, director of “Beasts of the Southern Wild;” Marilynne Robinson, author of Pulitzer Prize Award-winning novel, “Gilead;” and Samuel Pickering, English Professor at the University of Connecticut in Storrs and inspiration for Mr. Keating from the movie ”Dead Poets Society.”