Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7pm, Music Building, $20
e f f e r y e n a r d l l e n
with Leonard Lopate
is the author of the novel Rails Under My Back, the story collection Holding Pattern, the collections of poetry Stellar Places and Harbors and Spirits, and, most recently, the novel Song of the Shank. The Philadelphia Inquirer has said of Mr. Allen’s work that it puts him “in the company of writers such as James Joyce, August Wilson and Ralph Ellison.” The New York Times Book Review has said of Rails Under My Back: “Besides Joyce and Faulkner, other 20th-century work Allen’s calls to mind are Dos Passos, Ellison and Henry Roth—an indication of the remarkable literary company in which this novel may be seen to move.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has described Song of the Shank as “explosive…chilling… A landmark of modern African-American literature… Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring the constellations.” Bookforum has described Song of the Shank as “an eerie fever dream of a historical novel spun off a real-life cultural phenomenon from the waning days of antebellum America…. [with] echoes of Faulkner and Morrison.” The New York Times Book Review has said: “Song of the Shank….sagely explores themes of religion, class, art and genius…resulting in the kind of imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce…. Inimitable… Masterly.” Junot Díaz has said: “The prodigiously talented Jeffery Renard Allen is without question one of our most important writers.”
In addition to reading from his work, Jeffery Renard Allen will be interviewed by Leonard Lopate.
photo of Jeffery Renard Allen: Mark Hillringhouse