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Novelist Robert Goolrick presents a reading Nov. 3 at Appalachian

goolrich_t.jpgBOONE—Novelist and memoirist Robert Goolrick will speak Thursday, Nov. 3, at Appalachian State University. His visit is part of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Goolrick will present an afternoon craft talk, “Writing Memoir,” at 2 p.m. in Room 224 I.G. Greer Hall on campus. Parking is available in the Rivers Street parking deck, which is  about a 10 minute or less walk via the deck’s second floor walkway.

He will read from his work beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room.

Admission to both events is free. Book sales and signing will follow both events.

After a 30-year advertising career in New York City, Goolrick turned to stories he heard as a young child growing up in Virginia for the inspiration for his novel “A Reliable Wife.

Author Sara Gruen wrote, “Astonishing, complex, beautifully written, and brilliant, ‘A Reliable Wife’ is a nearly-forensic look at love in all its incarnations, with all its damages, deceptions, and obsessions, run through with points of light and pinned with ruinous truths.” Booklist magazine wrote that, “Goolrick twists a familiar story, refashioning it into something completely original. . . . Few have permeated their narratives with gothic elements and suspense to such great effect. . . . The unforeseen conclusion provides a big payoff for readers of this tension-laden debut from a promising new talent.”

The novel was a New York Times No. 1 bestseller and won the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers and Book of the Month Club’s First Fiction Award in 2009.

His memoir, “The End of the World as We Know It,” received praise from People magazine. “In this brutally painful remembrance of hard drinking, attempted suicide, and childhood trauma, first-time author Goolrick constructs a well-written, nonlinear narrative of his life… Goolrick’s memory of the details of his childhood is impressive, as is the deep sense of sorrow…the story evokes. A courageous and successful work.”

Excerpts from Goolrick’s memoirs and novel are available at Select “Reserves” then “By Instructor” and enter “Visiting Writers Series” as the course or instructor name and use the password asuwriters when prompted.

Goolrick currently lives in White Stone, Va.  He previously visited Appalachian to speak at Belk Library and Information Commons in the summer of 2010.

The Fall 2011 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation; Appalachian’s Offices of Academic Affairs, Multicultural Student Development, and Cultural Affairs; the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, Belk Library, and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and Marjorie Idol, Mildred Luckhardt, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968, a former member of the university’s Board of Trustees and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.

For further information about the fall Visiting Writers Series, 828-262-2871 or visit To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcements by email, contact

Parking is free in campus surface lots after 5 p.m. Public parking in the College Street Parking Deck is available after 5:30 p.m.  For more parking information or a map, visit or call the Parking and Traffic Office at 828-262-2878.