A lot of great things are going on at the Wittliff Collections this spring. The third author reading and book signing hosted this semester by the Wittliff will be a very special appearance by Dagoberto Gilb on Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
Dagoberto Gilb, a donor to the Wittliff’s Southwestern Writers Collection and former Texas State professor of creative writing, is considered by many to be one of the leading voices from the American Southwest. Through humble beginnings, he has become a critically acclaimed and award-winning author. In the 1970s, he made a living in the construction industry as a laborer, stonemason, and carpenter. While he worked in many areas of construction, his specialty was high-rise buildings.
Even though Gilb labored on building giant structures, his most impressive construction is the career he built for himself as a writer, crafting together stories that led him to amazing success in the literary world. He won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 1993, the Texas Book Festival Bookend Award for Ongoing Literary Achievement in 2007, the PEN Southwest Book Award in 2008, and several other honors. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many magazines, most recently Harper’s, The New Yorker, and Callaloo, and his work is reprinted widely. Gilb is also editor of Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature published as part of the Wittliff's Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series. He is currently artist-in-residence and executive director of the Center for Mexican American Literature and Culture at the University of Houston-Victoria.
Gilb will be reading from his most recent book, Before the End, After the Beginning, a collection of ten stark and gritty stories dealing with the trials and tribulations of several different characters—many of who live throughout the Southwest. These stories were created in the wake of a stroke Gilb suffered at his home in Austin, Texas, in 2009—the majority of them written during his many months of recovery. The result is a magnificent insight into the powerful yet fragile spirit of humanity.
The Wittliff’s March 6 program, held on the library’s seventh floor, will include a 3:30 p.m. reception and 4:00 reading by Gilb followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase by the University Bookstore. Admission is free.