We are excited to host Michael Parker in conversation with Jill McCorkle at the 2020 North Carolina Book Festival!
Michael Parker is the author of Prairie Fever, the best book of 2019 (–Jason Jefferies). He is the author of seven novels – Hello Down There, Towns Without Rivers, Virginia Lovers, If You Want Me To Stay, The Watery Part of the World, All I Have In This World, and Prairie Fever–and three collections of stories, The Geographical Cure, Don’t Make Me Stop Now and Everything, Then and Since. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals including Five Points, the Georgia Review, The Southwest Review, Epoch, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Oxford American, New England Review, Southwest Review, Trail Runner, Runner’s World and Men’s Journal. He has received fellowships in fiction from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His work has been anthologized in the Pushcart, New Stories from the South anthologies, and he is a three-time winner of the O.Henry Award for short fiction. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, he taught for nearly thirty years in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since 2009 he has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. He lives in Saxapahaw, North Carolina and Austin, Texas.
Jill McCorkle has the distinction of having her first two novels published on the same day in 1984. Of these novels, The New York Times Book Reviewsaid, “One suspects the author of The Cheer Leader is a born novelist, with July 7th, she is also a full grown one.” Since then she has published four other novels—her latest, Hieroglyphics coming in 2020—and four collections of short stories.
Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Four of her stories have been tabbed for Best American Short Stories and several have been collected in New Stories from the South. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine and The American Scholar among others. Her story “Intervention” is included in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. An essay, “Cuss Time,” originally published in The American Scholar was selected for Best American Essays. Other essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Our State, Allure and Real Simple.
McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts, and Brandeis where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years where she also chaired Creative Writing. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a frequent instructor in the Sewanee Summer Writers Program .
She lives with her husband, photographer Tom Rankin, in Hillsborough, NC.