Friends of Hackney Library Presents “An Evening with Elaine Neil Orr” on April 7

WILSON, N.C. – March 23, 2015 — The Barton College Friends of Hackney Library (FOHL) will welcome award-winning author Elaine Neil Orr as the featured speaker for FOHL’s annual Spring Dinner and Lecture on Tuesday, April 7. The event begins at 6 p.m. in Hardy Alumni Hall with a wine reception and book signing, followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. Copies of Orr’s books will be available for purchase. The event is sponsored in part by BB&T.

Reservations are required. Tickets are $35 per person, with reservations accepted by Tuesday, March 31. FOHL members may reserve tickets at the discounted rate of $30 per person. Spaces are limited, and the Friends encourage those interested in this event to make their reservations as soon as possible. Please contact Luann Clark at (252) 399-6329 or the Friends at for reservation information.

Orr is a transatlantic writer of fiction, memoir, and poetry. Themes of home, country, and spiritual longing run through her writing. Her latest work, “A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa,” has been described by Lee Smith “as lyrical and passionate a novel as has ever been written. [It] shines in the mind like a rare gem.” Philip Deaver further defines it as “[a] beautiful novel, exquisitely written, perfectly complex, true to the past, relevant today, unforgettable.”

Her memoir, “Gods of Noonday,” was a Top-20 Book Sense selection and a nominee for the Old North State Award as well as a SIBA Book Award. She is associate editor of a collection of essays on international childhoods, “Writing Out of Limbo,” and the author of two scholarly books, “Subject to Negotiation” and “Tillie Olsen and a Feminist Spiritual Vision.”

Orr has published extensively in literary magazines including “The Missouri Review,” “Blackbird,” “Shenandoah,” and “Image Journal.” Her short stories and short memoirs have won several Pushcart Prize nominations and competition prizes. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Born in Nigeria to medical missionary parents, Orr grew up in the savannahs and rain forests of that country. Her family remained in Nigeria during its civil war.

Orr left West Africa at age 16 and attended college in Kentucky. She studied creative writing and literature at the University of Louisville prior to earning her Ph.D. in Literature and Theology at Emory University.

She is an award-winning professor of English at North Carolina State University and serves on the faculty of the brief-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University. She reads and lectures widely at universities and conferences from Atlanta to Austin to San Francisco to Vancouver to New York to Washington D.C., and in Nigeria.

Orr lives in Raleigh with her husband, Anderson Orr.