The Cumberland University Department of English is hosting author Sally Franson on campus Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. in the Heydel Fine Arts Center. Franson will present on her debut novel, “A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out,” which was published this year in April.
Franson said she is excited to visit campus and not only to be heard by Cumberland students but also to have the opportunity to learn from them as well.
“What I do hope to share is my genuine curiosity about the world, my care for its inhabitants, and my passion for language and storytelling. And it is my hope that, while I am at Cumberland, this curiosity and care and passion might be felt by others and perhaps become infectious,” Franson said. “Indeed, when I encounter Cumberland students’ work, sit in on classes, connect with faculty, and share my work at a public reading, I hope to be inspired as well as to inspire.”
Cumberland University English Instructor Kerry Ann Moore was in the same cohort with Franson as they were obtaining their MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. According to Moore, she knew Franson would be a great author to bring to campus because of her passion and skill in writing.
“I’m quite familiar with her work and am a big fan,” Moore said. “When I saw that her debut novel was being published this year, I jumped at the opportunity to have her visit our campus, particularly spending time with our Creative Writing students.”
In addition to giving a reading of her work, Franson’s visit to Cumberland will include her leading a class on craft to Advanced Fiction students as well as providing students one-on-one feedback of their writing.
“I also – and this is important – have the privilege of connecting with others for whom the written word remains both a compass and a comfort. Universities like Cumberland stand as bastions for the power of language and the transformative nature of learning, two principles I have staked – and hope to always stake – my life upon,” Franson said. “I cannot imagine a better environment in which to share my work and applaud the efforts of those committed to the pursuit of a further and deeper understanding of our world.”
Franson’s Oct. 23 reading is open to any who wish to attend. The event will include an opening ceremony, a reading from her novel, and a meet-and-greet opportunity, during which attendees can get their copy of Franson’s novel signed.
Franson received her education at Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in places such as The Guardian, NPR Weekend Edition, and Witness. Additionally, she has received recognition from The Macdowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Glimmer Train, Best American Travel Writing, and more.In addition to writing her novel, Franson also writes humor for The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.