Writer John D'Agata will give a lyric essay reading on campus this Friday, "lyric essay" being his preferred term for creative nonfiction.
His research and writing led the New Yorker's book critic, James Wood, to write, “For well over a decade now, John D’Agata has been the renovator-in-chief of the American essay.”
D'Agata's most recent work, "The Lifespan of a Fact," is purportedly a seven-year correspondence between D'Agata and a fact checker for a magazine. The two argue over details large and small in a nonfiction account of a Las Vegas teenager's suicide.
Another title, "About a Mountain," has been called "beautiful," "stylish" and "a work of art," unlikely descriptors for a book whose central topic is the proposed nuclear storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
In addition to writing, D'Agata has earned fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa.
His reading is set for 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall at the University of Montana. There is no charge for admission.