February 4, 2011 — Jim Shepard, who writes short stories and novels for adults and young adults, will read from his work on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. in the University of Virginia Bookstore.
Shepard, an English professor at Williams College, is one of the Creative Writing Program's Rea Visiting Writers this year.
Shepard's book, "Like You'd Understand, Anyway," was a finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the Story Prize in 2007. His fourth collection of short stories, "You Think That's Bad," will be released in March.
He has published six novels, including "Flights," "Paper Doll," "Lights Out in the Reptile House," "Kiss of the Wolf," "Nosferatu" and "Project X."
"Project X," published in 2004, tells a story similar to the 1999 student shooting at Columbine High School. Critics praised Shepard's treatment of his main characters and the topic of adolescent violence. The School Library Journal described it as a "heartbreaking and wrenching novel [that] will leave teens with plenty of questions and, hopefully, some answers." The novel won the Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction and the Alex Award for Fiction from the Young-Adult Library Science Services Association.
Shepard has also edited three anthologies: "You've Got to Read This," co-edited with Ron Hansen; "Unleashed: Poems by Writer's Dogs," with Amy Hempel; and "Writers at the Movies: 26 Contemporary Writers Celebrate 26 Contemporary Movies."
Since he began writing in the early 1980s, Shepard has also co-written several teen sports stories with William Holinger under the joint pseudonym Scott Eller.
Rea Visiting Writers spend up to a week in residence at U.Va., working closely with graduate students in the master of fine arts writing program in the College of Arts & Sciences. Shepard will give a talk for creative writing students on Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Bryan Hall faculty lounge.
The Rea Visiting Writers series of the U.Va. Creative Writing Program in the College of Arts & Sciences is sponsored by the Dungannon Foundation and Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, in memory of her husband, the late Michael Rea.