A widowed professor at a small university in Peru tries desperately to uncover the identity of his wife’s killer while still supporting his infant daughter in “Pacazo,” a new book from author Roy Kesey. It is a novel that he could not have written without a firm grasp of several disciplines, including history and English.

Kesey will discuss the book on Friday, Feb. 11, at 3:30 p.m. in the Gluck Theater in the Mountainlair at West Virginia University. WVU’s departments of history and English will have the opportunity to come together to hear Kesey speak about his book and the importance of overlapping disciplines.

Kesey has authored the novella “Nothing in the World,” the collection of short stories “All Over,” and a historical guide to the city of Nanjing in China. His work has appeared in “American Short Fiction,” “The Georgia Review” and “McSweeney’s,” to name just a few of the more than 70 magazines that have published his work. “Pacazo” is his first full-length novel.

“Although faculty members from these departments occasionally serve on graduate committees with each other, there are few formal venues through which members of these communities can engage with each other in scholarly discussion,” said Matt Vester, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of History. “The Kesey lecture will provide such an opportunity.”

Kesey’s book thoughtfully explores how stories are told and how we construct them about ourselves and others. He will also discuss how historians and writers alike put together the stories of different civilizations and societies.

“Pacazo explores the way in which people construct narratives about themselves,” Vester said. “Kesey’s talk will examine this issue, and also how historical narratives, and narratives about particular world regions, are assembled and disseminated.”

“Pacazo” was released by Dzanc Books on Feb. 1 and is now available for purchase.

For more information, contact Matt Vester, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of History, at (304) 293-2421 or Matt.Vester@mail.wvu.edu.



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