Faculty reading from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing's "Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference"
Introduction by Branden Boyer-White
March 3-6, 2011
ASU, Tempe campus
A native of Queens, N. Y., Victor LaValle is the author of a short-story collection, Slapboxing with Jesus (1999) and two novels, The Ecstatic and Big Machine. Slapboxing with Jesus, which consisted of 11 interconnected stories dealing with the lives of young black and Latino men living in New York City, claimed the PEN/Open Book Award and earned the author the Key to Jamaica, Queens. The Ecstatic was a finalist for the 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. Big Machine, widely praised upon its release, claimed the 2010 American Book Award and the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel in 2009. LaValle has written numerous essays and book reviews that have appeared in GQ, Essence Magazine, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Additional honors include a Whiting Writers' Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He graduated with a degree in English from Cornell University and a MFA from Columbia University. He has been a visiting professor at Adelphi University and currently teaches at Columbia.