Thrity Umrigar to Participate in Free Book Reading, Moderated Discussion
DELAWARE, Ohio – In Thrity Umrigar’s award-winning novels, her characters strive to make and maintain deep emotional bonds. They struggle to overcome obstacles created by differences in class, caste, race, and power.
Umrigar, the Armington Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, will read from her latest book at 4:10 p.m. Oct. 5 and participate in a moderated discussion at 12:10 p.m. Oct. 6 at Ohio Wesleyan University. Both events are free, and each will be held in the Bayley Room on the second floor of OWU’s Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware.
Umrigar was born in Bombay, India, and came to the United States at age 21. As a Parsi child attending a Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu country, Umrigar had the kind of schizophrenic and cosmopolitan childhood that has served her well in her life as a writer.
She has written seven novels including “Bombay Time,” “The Space Between Us,” “If Today Be Sweet,” “The Weight of Heaven,” “The World We Found,” “The Story Hour,” and, most recently, “Everybody’s Son.” Her memoir, “First Darling of the Morning,” was a finalist for the Society of Midland Authors Award. She also has been named a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award and has earned the Cleveland Arts Prize, Lambda Literary Award, and Seth Rosenberg Prize.
Umrigar’s latest book, “Everybody’s Son,” tells the story of a black child adopted by an affluent white family and his subsequent search to understand his identity. She shared thoughts about book – her first not set in India – in a recent New York Times opinion piece.
“If men can write about women and science fiction writers can write about space aliens, surely I can write about someone from a different race,” Umrigar writes. … “The debate about whether writers should create worlds and characters based in cultures other than their own is an important one. At its core, pushback in this area serves as a corrective to centuries of colonialism, stereotypical portrayals, and racist caricatures.”
Learn more about Umrigar at http://umrigar.com. Her visit represents the 2017-2018 Katherine Kearney Carpenter Lecture, sponsored by the OWU Department of English.
The Carpenter Lecture Series was established in 1967 with an endowment from the late O. William Carpenter in honor of his wife, Katherine Kearney Carpenter. Previous Carpenter Lecturers include Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom. Carol Ann Duffy; National Book Award winners Ta-Nehisi Coates, William Stafford, Tim O'Brien, Amy Tan, and Joyce Carol Oates; 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Seamus Heaney; New York Times bestselling essayist Leslie Jamison; Nobel Prize winning poet-playwright Derek Walcott; and former U.S. Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov. Other writers in the series have included essayist Richard Selzer, William Zinsser, Sven Birkerts, and novelists Carlos Fuentes, Russell Banks, Tobias Wolff, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of English at www.owu.edu/English.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.