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Gary Fincke to Read From New Memoir

Published on March 31, 2010

SELINSGROVE—Gary Fincke, professor of English and director of The Writers’ Institute at Susquehanna University, will read from his latest work, “The Canals of Mars,” on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Isaacs Auditorium, in Seibert Hall.

“The Canals of Mars” is a memoir that explores "weakness," which in Fincke's family was the catch-all term for every physical, psychological or spiritual flaw. Fincke grew up near Pittsburgh during the 1950s and ’60s, raised by blue-collar parents who viewed problems—from alcoholism and nearsightedness, to asthma and fear of heights—as mere weaknesses simply to be overcome.

In a highly engaging style, Fincke meditates on the disappointments he suffered —in his body, his mind, his work—in his quest to be perfect.

Six of the chapters in the book have been cited in “Best American Essays.” The chapter that provides the book's title won a Pushcart Prize and was included in “The Pushcart Book of Essays: The Best Essays From a Quarter Century of the Pushcart Prize.”

Fincke is the Charles B. Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing at Susquehanna. Among the awards he has earned for his writing are the 2003 Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Rose Lefcowitz Prize from Poet Lore.

The reading is free and open to the public, with books by Fincke available for purchase and signing afterward.

For more information about programs sponsored by the Writers’ Institute and upcoming events, please visit www.susqu.edu/writers .

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 36 states and 13 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.

Karen M. Jones

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