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Otterbein welcomes 2011 Common Book Author

October 20, 2010

Tom Piazza

Tom Piazza

Westerville, OH—Tom Piazza, author of Otterbein University’s 2011 Common Book City of Refuge, will visit campus Nov. 8 and 9. He will give a lecture at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., followed by a book signing and reception in Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St. Otterbein University Friends of the Library will host another lecture and book signing with Piazza at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, on the second floor of the Courtright Memorial Library on the northwest corner of Grove and Main Streets. Both events are free and open to the public.

Piazza is the author of ten books, including the novel City Of Refuge, which won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, and the post-Katrina classic Why New Orleans Matters. His most recent book is Devil Sent The Rain, a collection of his essays and journalism. Other books include the Faulkner Society Award-winning novel My Cold War, and the short-story collection Blues and Trouble, which won the James Michener Award for Fiction. He is currently a writer for the HBO drama series Treme.

Also a well-known writer of American music, Piazza won a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey and is a three-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Music Writing. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Bookforum, The Oxford American, Columbia Journalism Review, and many other periodicals. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he lives in New Orleans and is at work on a new novel.

City of Refuge is the story of two New Orleans families set in the days during Hurricane Katrina and the months following.  One family resides in the Lower Ninth Ward and the other, in a middle-class neighborhood across town. Richard Russo, the Pulitzer prize winning author of Empire Falls, wrote, “To read City of Refuge is to realize that this is what fiction is for: to take us to places the cameras can't go.  The novel's characters—and what happens to them—are unforgettable.”

The Common Book Program is made possible through The Thomas Academic Excellence Series and is intended to create intellectual excitement and strengthen bonds on campus by providing a shared academic experience for many surrounding an annual academic theme. For more information about the University’s Common Book program, contact Jennifer Bechtold at (614) 823-3202. For more information about Tom Piazza or City of Refuge, please visit www.tompiazza.com.

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