"Making Things Up: A Catholic Writer's Beginnings," a lecture by novelist Ron Hansen at Fairfield University



Image: Ron HansenRon Hansen, a popular teacher and prolific author of novels, essays, and poems, will speak at Fairfield University on how his Catholic faith has influenced his development as a writer, on Wednesday, November 9 at 8 p.m.

Hansen's talk, entitled, "Making Things Up: A Catholic Writer's Beginnings," is the University's Sixth Annual Catholicism and the Arts Lecture. "[Catholic] liturgies are dramatic narratives," said Hansen, the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University. "Each gospel reading is a concise short story with a meaning only arrived at through interpretation or, better, meditation. Writing, in fact, is a kind of priesthood as the novelist uses invented lives to entertain, educate, and, perhaps, guide readers toward making correct moral and ethical choices."

Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies, and will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room.

Professor Hansen has taught fiction and screenwriting at such institutions as Stanford, Michigan, Cornell, and Iowa universities. In 2012, Scribner will publish his next book, "She Loves Me Not."

The Nebraska born writer's book, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," was made into a film starring Brad Pitt. He helped write its screenplay. Among his numerous works are "A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion" (Scribner, 2011); "A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction" (HarperCollins, 2001); and "Mariette in Ecstasy: A Novel" (HarperCollins, 1991). For his book, "Atticus: A Novel" (HarperCollins, 1996), he was named a finalist for the 1997 PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction, and a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award in Fiction.

Hansen, who has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, was educated at Creighton University, the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, and at Stanford University, where he held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. He earned an M.A. in Spirituality from Santa Clara. Hansen was presented with an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

For information about other events sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies, visit www.fairfield.edu/cs.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 4, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 63