While some authors have had their work stolen, only a few of those thefts involved actual breaking and entering.
But whoever stole much of Andrew Porter’s first book did just that when he or she burgled his apartment and set his first book back almost a year.
“I had an unusual journey as a writer,” said Porter, who went on to win multiple literary awards when he finished rewriting the book.
Porter will speak about this and other experiences that helped shape his life as a writer in the next installment of the University of Houston-Victoria American Book Review Fall Reading Series. His presentation will begin at noon on Oct. 22 in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.
Porter received the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction from the University of Georgia Press for his slightly delayed debut collection of stories, “The Theory of Light and Matter.” The collection has since been nominated for the Texas Institute of Letters’ Steven Turner Award for Best Book of First Fiction and won Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in the short fiction category. The book will be published next year in the United Kingdom, Australia, France and the Netherlands. He also received a prestigious Pushcart Prize in 2007.
He identifies himself as a Texas author because many of his stories are set in the state. He also strives to capture the unique feel and state of mind that Texas often produces, he said.
“Andrew Porter is already well known in the literary world, and his fame is continuing to rise in the general reading public,” ABR Associate Editor Tom Williams said. “I think many people in the audience will be able to look back and say they met him just before he really made it big.”
Porter teaches fiction writing at Trinity University in San Antonio and is working on a novel.
“I tend to not talk too much about works in progress,” Porter said. “But I can tell you the novel is set in Houston, and it involves a family going through a crisis.”
He anticipates publishing the new work in 2011 or 2012.
The ABR Reading Series brings renowned writers to Victoria in the spring and fall semesters. While in Victoria, the authors attend roundtable discussions with UHV faculty and students, make classroom visits to area schools, give lectures that are open to the community, and go to receptions hosted by Friends of ABR patrons. Past speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Oshinsky, author and Iranian refugee Farnoosh Moshiri, Chicana novelist Ana Castillo and American Book Award recipient Graciela Limon.
The Fall Reading Series finishes Nov. 19 with author Cris Mazza. She is the author of 15 books, including 10 novels, four collections of stories and a collection of personal essays. A prominent post-feminist writer, she also edited “Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction” (1995) and “Chick-Lit 2 (No Chick Vics)” (1996), two anthologies of women’s fiction that altered the literary landscape in the mid-1990s.
For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call ABR Managing Editor Charles Alcorn at 361-570-4100 or go to www.americanbookreview.org.