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Massena Public Library promotes author T.C. Boyle

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MASSENA — The Massena Public Library is hoping to interest readers in books by a best-selling author and SUNY Posdam alumnus who will be returning to the campus this month.

T.C. Boyle will participate in the Lougheed Festival of the Arts with a public reading from 7 to 9 p.m. April 24 in the college’s Dunn Dance Theater. A book signing will follow the reading.

Mr. Boyle will present, dramatically and in full, a short story or two, according to SUNY Potsdam spokeswoman Alexandra M. Jacobs.

“He’s a pretty free-wheeling guy. He told the college he’ll read maybe one, maybe two short stories. He’s a very, very engaging public speaker. He’s a great entertainer as well as obviously a literary genius,” she said.

Ms. Jacobs said college officials invited Mr. Boyle back “as one of our most accomplished graduates and also as an inspiration to our students. He’s a great person to bring back.”

Massena Public Library Director Elaine Dunne-Thayer said library staff is encouraging readers to pick up Mr. Boyle’s books during April, which also is the time of year when National Library Week is celebrated.

“We thought we would highlight his books and put them out to the public. We encourage people to read someone who is from the north country. He’s certainly part of Potsdam and the whole Potsdam community,” Ms. Dunne-Thayer said.

“We’ll have them in a little exhibit,” she said. “We’re encouraging different book groups to try T. C. Boyle. Many of them already have. He’s a popular author here. We’re hoping people will take the time to read some of his books.”

Ms. Dunne-Thayer said the library also wants to promote the college’s event.

Mr. Boyle received a bachelor’s degree in English and history in 1968 from SUNY Potsdam, a master of fine arts in 1974 from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a doctorate in 19th-century British literature in 1977 from the University of Iowa.

He is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California, where he founded the creative writing program in 1978.

Mr. Boyle is a New York Times best-selling author of 22 books, which have been translated into 25 languages.

Among his honors and awards are are the 1988 PEN/Faulkner Award for “World’s End,” the 1998 PEN/Malamud Award for his first volume of collected stories, five O. Henry Awards and three inclusions in “Best American Stories,” as well as France’s Prix Médicis Étranger for foreign novel of the year.

In 2009, Mr. Boyle was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Lougheed Festival of the Arts, which takes place every spring, is made possible through the generosity and artistic vision of Kathryn (Kofoed) and Donald Lougheed. It resurrects the tradition of a dynamic and comprehensive campus spring festival, which includes theatre, dance, vocal and instrumental performances; visual arts exhibitions; creative writing programs; and guest artists and presenters.

The festival kicks off April 26 and culminates with the annual Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra spring performance under the baton of visiting conductor Dorothy Albrecht Gregory.

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