David Payne To Speak at Barton’s Friends of Hackney Library Dinner

David PayneWILSON, N.C. – Acclaimed novelist David Payne will be the featured speaker at Barton College’s Friends of Hackney Library fall dinner and lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 14. The evening’s festivities, to be held in Hardy Alumni Hall, will begin with a book signing and wine reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m. Payne’s program is titled “A Lonely Impulse of Delight,” taken from a line in W.B. Yeats’ poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death.”

Tickets for the dinner event are $35 per person with reservations accepted until Oct. 3. Members of the Barton College Friends of Hackney Library may reserve tickets for $30 per person. Please contact Cynthia Collins at 399-6503 for reservations or additional information.

Payne is the author of “Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street” (1984), “Early from the Dance” (1989), “Ruin Creek” (1993), “Gravesend Light” (2000), and “Back to Wando Passo” (2006).

Born in Henderson in 1955, Payne attended the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in creative writing in 1977.

After college, he spent a year working on fishing trawlers out of Wanchese, and, later, Point Judith, R.I. – experiences that would later underlie the commercial fishing scenes in his fourth novel, “Gravesend Light,” which was named one of the top books of the year by the Christian Science Monitor.

Following his fishing experiences, Payne spent time traveling the world. An episode of Louis Rukeyser’s “Wall Street Week,” a 1980 television show, planted the seeds that would eventually inspire Payne to write his first novel, “Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street,” which the “Washington Post” describes as “a book to be read twice, first to be gulped down in great chunks during sleepless nights; later to be sipped slowly, savoring details, like a well-brewed cup of tea.” The success of this book, a winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award, allowed Payne to write full time. He also has taught at such institutions as Bennington, Duke University, and Queens University of Charlotte.

His subsequent three novels, “Early from the Dance,” “Ruin Creek,” and “Gravesend Light,” all share settings and, in some cases, characters in the fictional Piedmont town of Killdeer and on the Outer Banks.

Payne’s fifth novel, “Back to Wando Passo,” is set on a rice plantation in Low country South Carolina and features two related love triangles that take place there – one set in the present and the other during the Civil War. Pat Conroy says of this novel, “‘Back to Wando Passo’ quivers with authentic life and is so bold in concept and audacious in scope that it seems like the summing up and exclamation point of a great writer’s career. The novel contains everything.”

Payne lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children, and he is currently working on a memoir.

The event is sponsored in part by BB&T.


Questions? Contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.