Professor reads from memoir at library


UCA writing professor and published author Mark Spitzer read from his new book, “Writer in Residence,” Thursday night at the Faulkner County Library.
The audience laughed as he read different sections of his book aloud.
“They laughed with me, not at me,” Spitzer said.
Senior Jessica Carmona said: “It was very funny. I might get the book. I’m thinking about it, anyway. [Spitzer] is my teacher and he told us about it. I came for the extra credit but it was worth it.”
People who attended the reading could put their name in a hat for a drawing at the end of the reading. The prize was a gift bag that had candy canes, a Faulkner Country Library magnet and a book called “Politically Correct Holiday Stories” by James Garner.
The winner, senior Allison Forbes, said: “I was tickled when I won. I didn’t expect to win.”
The reading lasted for 30 minutes and the audience laughed from start to finish.
Senior Alexandra Calaway said: “I liked the reading. I got extra credit for coming and it was worth it. [Spitzer] makes me laugh.”
She said she would like to have the book.
Adult programmer and reference librarian Jeanetta Darley said: “I thought it was very enjoyable. He is funny and hilarious. It was entertaining. Mark is always a great reader.”
She said this wasn’t the first time he has done a reading at Faulkner County Library.
“He read ‘Season of the Gar’ toward the middle or the end of the past summer,” Darley said. “He came to me and said, ‘I’ve got this other book reading for you,’ and I said, ‘Go for it.’”
She said Spitzer is invited back to read anytime.
“We really want to support local authors,” Darley said. “[Spitzer] is welcome back anytime he wants to do another reading. Any other authors interested in doing a reading can contact the library and ask.”
UCA faculty were also present at the reading to listen to Spitzer.
UCA professor Robin Becker said: “Mark is the most important writer in Arkansas today, nay, the country.”
She said this was the first reading she’s been to where Spitzer has assigned different voices to the characters in the book.
Writing department chair Scott Payne said: “It was great.”
He said Spitzer’s use of different voices for each character was very entertaining.
“It’s also very effective,” Payne said.
“Writer in Residence” is part three of his four part memoir about his time as a translator living at the bookstore Shakespeare & Co.
The next part to be released will be the first, called “After the Orange Glow.” Spitzer said it would be released in early December.
He said the fourth part, called “Sick in the Head, and the second part, called “After the Octopus,” do not have release dates yet.
“I hope it will be a few years,” Spitzer said. He added that he hopes it will be three years instead of 15.
“I hope [‘After the Orange Glow’ and ‘Writer in Residence’] will sell enough to sell the sequel,” Spitzer said.


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