(April 1, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073, or Jennifer Strange, Department of English, 318.869.5256

Novelist Alice McDermott Receives Centenary's Corrington Award at a Public Reading Apr. 7

SHREVEPORT, La. — Centenary College will present the 2008 Corrington Award for Literary Excellence to novelist Alice McDermott at a public reading Monday, Apr. 7. McDermott will receive the award and read from her own work at 7 pm in the Smith Building's Kilpatrick Auditorium on Centenary's campus. Sponsored by the Centenary English Department, the event is free and open to the public.

An Irish Catholic writer of Irish Catholic novels, Alice McDermott has a keen and experienced eye for real people in all their best and worst motivations. Her novels demonstrate the great stakes in the human narrative. Thus, it is no surprise that they have captured critical and popular acclaim.

Alice McDermott

In 1982, McDermott's first novel, A Bigamist's Daughter, caught wide literary attention, and her five novels published since have not disappointed. In 1987, she won the Whiting Writers Award, recognizing young writers of promise, and published her second novel, That Night, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pen-Faulkner Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. At Weddings and Wakes (1992) and After This (2006), her most recent novels, were also short-listed for the Pulitzer. Child of My Heart (2002) was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, for which her previous Charming Billy (1998) had been a finalist; that novel also won the National Book Award in 1998.

McDermott is no stranger to the popular bookshelf either: Child of My Heart was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and At Weddings and Wakes was a New York Times bestseller. Her earliest published stories appeared in Ms. and Seventeen, and she has since published articles, reviews, and stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Redbook, Commonweal and elsewhere.

Since 1996, Alice McDermott has taught in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, arguably the nation's premier graduate program in fiction writing. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised on Long Island, she currently lives outside Washington, DC, with her family.

About the Corrington Award

Named for a Centenary alumnus who authored the short novel Decoration Day, the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence takes the form of a bronze medal designed by the internationally acclaimed Louisiana sculptor Clyde Connell. Previous recipients include poets as well as novelists: Eudora Welty, Ernest J. Gaines, James Dickey, Lee Smith, Paul Auster, Elizabeth Spencer, Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, Eavan Boland, Debora Greger and William Logan, and, last year, Louisiana native and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.