Friday, July 24, 2009

What is Whitney Terrell reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Whitney Terrell, author of the award winning novels The Huntsman and The King of Kings County.

His entry begins:
Of late, I have been reading Updike, Updike, Updike. This is a jag that began with his death which spurred me, as I suspect it did many people, to go back and actually read his work again, rather than dealing with him as an idea, a “great author,” a brand name. I began with the third and best of the Rabbit books, Rabbit is Rich, and read back from there to Redux and finally to Run. I was shocked and abashed by how much he achieved in these books, how serious and consistent their purpose seemed, and how far they exceeded the achievement I’d granted them in my memory. The fault was all mine, not his. In the encomiums that followed Updike’s death, many spoke of his writing about sex, the titillating aspects of his work, as well as his majestic prose. But in the Rabbit books, he seems to me, more than any writer I can think of, the great American poet of...[read on]
Whitney Terrell is the New Letters Writer-in-Residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Huntsman was a New York Times notable book and was selected as a best book of 2001 by The Kansas City Star and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The King of Kings County won the William Rockhill Nelson award from The Kansas City Star and was selected as a best book of 2005 by the Christian Science Monitor. In 2006, he was named one of 20 “writers to watch” under 40 by members of the National Book Critics Circle.

His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Details, The New York Observer, The Kansas City Star, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Recently, he embedded with the 22nd infantry in Baghdad, an experience he covered for the Washington Post Magazine.

Visit Terrell's website to learn more about the author, his novels, and his non-fiction.

The Page 99 Test: The King of Kings County.

Writers Read: Whitney Terrell.

--Marshal Zeringue