“Vivid Landscapes, Unpredictable Characters, Unforgettable Stories” (Fiction)
Presented by George Hovis
Dive into a discussion of strategies for finding the exotic, the surreal, and the sublime available in everyday landscapes. During this session, we’ll explore how setting gives birth to original characters and plots—and how, in turn, the choices of characters define a place.
After examining the function of setting in the work of masters such as Zora Neale Hurston, Mark Twain, and Lee Smith, we’ll map the settings of our own fictional worlds in order to discover the surprises lurking therein.
Moving beyond mere description, we will see how both the actions and interior life of characters are driven by the places they inhabit.
George Hovis' debut novel, The Skin Artist (SFK, 2019), explores the gothic urban South, a world of tattoo magic and failed upward mobility. His stories and essays have appeared widely in such journals as The Carolina Quarterly, The Fourth River, Mississippi Quarterly, New Madrid, Southern Cultures, The Southern Literary Journal, and North Carolina Literary Review. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a former president of the Thomas Wolfe Society, he earned a Ph.D from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is a professor of English at SUNY Oneonta and a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
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