WILSON, N.C. — September 9, 2016 — Barton College welcomes Wilton Barnhardt, as the featured author for this year’s Joyce T. Boone Southern Authors Series Lecture. The event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in Hardy Alumni Hall on the College’s campus. The lecture is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.
Barnhardt grew up in Winston-Salem, and has traveled extensively doing research for his fiction, including trips to France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Africa. He completed his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and earned a Master of Philosophy degree at Oxford University. In the 1980s, he lived in New York City and worked as a reporter for “Sports Illustrated.”
His first three novels are “Emma Who Saved My “1989), “Gospel” (1993), and “Show World” (1998), books reflecting Barnhardt’s journeys outside his native state. But his fourth book, “Lookaway, Lookaway” (2013), a New York Times bestseller set in Charlotte, provides a “hilarious satire” on Southern manners and traditions that writer Lee Smith calls “way too close to the truth.” Old South meets New South in this world of Civil War re-enactors, debutantes, and social matrons. The entertaining frolic shows the complexity of Southern culture in a time of social change.
Barnhardt has taught at the University of Alabama and the University of California, Irvine, among other universities, and has served as an instructor in the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program at Warren Wilson College. He lives in Raleigh, where he teaches fiction writing in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at North Carolina State University.
The Joyce T. Boone Endowed Lectureship for Southern Authors was established in memory of the late Joyce Thornton Boone by her husband, Doug Boone. This endowed lectureship supports special programs featuring visiting Southern writers.
Joyce T. Boone graduated from Atlantic Christian College with degrees in business administration (1978) and nursing (1988). An enthusiastic advocate for students and alumni of Barton College, Boone believed in the mission of the small, private, liberal arts college. She served on both the Barton College Board of Trustees and the Barton Alumni Council. Boone was president-elect of the Barton College Alumni Council when she passed away in October 2004.