The University of North Carolina’s Friends of the Library will host a memorial service for Louis D. Rubin, Jr., on Sunday, February 9, at 2:00 pm in the auditorium of the Genome Sciences Building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rubin was a beloved editor, novelist, essayist, teacher, and publisher. He and Shannon Ravenel co-founded Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 1983 to discover and promote talented new voices of Southern literature—voices like Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Kaye Gibbons, and Clyde Edgerton, among many others. The New York Times called him “a champion of Southern writers.”
“He became something of a literary hero to me even before I met him,” said Edgerton. “After I met him, I respected him even more.”
Rubin came to the University of North Carolina in 1967, following two years at the University of Pennsylvania and ten at Hollins College in Virginia, where he chaired the English department for several years. He remained on UNC’s English faculty for twenty-two years, retiring from teaching in 1989 as University Distinguished Professor of English, and later Emeritus. He left teaching in order to devote his energies full time to Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
He wrote two hours a day and credited his newspaper background with his ability to produce rapidly. “On a newspaper you do the best you can and you get it out,” he said. “You don’t hold it forever. It’s a matter of discipline. I’ve found it very valuable.”
He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1997.
Parking for the memorial service will be available in the nearby Bell Tower Parking Deck. The service is sponsored by the department of English and comparative literature.
English department chair Beverly Taylor will open and close the service. Speakers include Clyde Edgerton, Joseph Flora, William Harmon, Meg Harper, Jill McCorkle, Shannon Ravenel, and Robert Rubin.
UNC’s Friends of the Library will host a reception in Wilson Library immediately following the service.
For UNC tributes to Rubin, visit http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/content/professor-louis-rubin.