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Visiting UW Writer to Give Public Reading Feb. 12

February 3, 2016
man sitting on the back of a bench
Nam Le, a UW eminent writer-in-residence, will give a public reading of his book, titled “The Boat,” Friday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. in the UW Alumni House. (Nam Le Photo)

Australia-based fiction author Nam Le will give a public reading from his book, titled “The Boat,” at the University of Wyoming Alumni House Friday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. A free public reception will follow his reading.

Le is the UW Creative Writing Program’s eminent writer-in-residence for the 2015-16 school year. He teaches a fiction workshop for UW Master of Fine Arts students this semester, and is among speakers for UW’s popular one-day education program, Saturday U, Feb. 11 in Gillette.

Le will sign copies of “The Boat,” which will be available for purchase during his public reading. Le will make additional appearances in Laramie, and in Gillette and Jackson this semester.

He has received multiple awards for “The Boat,” including a U.S. National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Fiction Selection. His book also was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and Editor’s Choice. Le is the fiction editor of the Harvard Review and divides his time between Australia and abroad.

Published in 2008, “The Boat” has been praised by publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“Mr. Le not only writes with an authority and poise rare even among longtime authors, but he also demonstrates an intuitive, gut-level ability to convey the psychological conflicts people experience when they find their own hopes and ambitions slamming up against familial expectations or the brute facts of history. The opening story is a singular masterpiece. Le’s sympathy for his characters and his ability to write with both lyricism and emotional urgency lend his portraits enormous visceral power,” Michiko Kakutani wrote in a review for The New York Times.

Jonathan Penner, in a Washington Post review, added:

"Ambitious and confident, these seven stories rise from diverse cultures and are filtered through characters of radically different sensibilities. Nam Le combines research and dreaming in a wonderfully wide range of imagined worlds. 'There's no place that's not strange to us,' Le has said in an interview. 'Fiction makes strange even the places we think we know.' It's true. And he writes best about the places whose strangeness he discovers himself, where history and headlines have left no footprint, raised no flag."

For more information, contact the UW Creative Writing Program at (307) 766-6453 or email

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