David Madden to hold residency at ETSU

Special to Black Mountain News
Black Mountain author David Madden will hold a two-day residency at East Tennessee State University on Feb. 27 and 28.

Novelist, playwright, literary critic and historian David Madden will visit East Tennessee State University Feb. 27 - 28 for a two-day residency sponsored by ETSU Celebrates Creative Writing.

As part of his residency, Madden will participate in an interview and audience discussion at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, and a reading of his fiction at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.  Both free public events will be held in the Reece Museum.

Born in Knoxville in 1933, Madden graduated from the University of Tennessee, served in the U.S. Army, earned an M.A. at San Francisco State and attended the Yale School of Drama on a John Golden Fellowship. 

A longtime faculty member at Louisiana State University, Madden served as writer-in-residence from 1968-92, director of the Creative Writing Program from 1992-94 and founding director of the United States Civil War Center from 1992-99. 

He is now LSU’s Robert Penn Warren Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus.  He has also held distinguished visiting faculty positions at such institutions as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Delaware and Austin Peay State University.

In 1961, Random House published Madden’s first novel, “The Beautiful Greed,” based on his Merchant seaman experiences.  His 1978 novel, “The Suicide’s Wife,” was made into a CBS Movie of the Week in 1979 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, as was “Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War,” published in 1996. 

Among his other novels are “Hair of the Dog,” “Abducted by Circumstance” and “London Bridge in Plague and Fire.”

Madden has authored several collections of short stories, including “The Shadow Knows,” which won a National Council on the Arts Award.  His stories have been reprinted in numerous college textbooks and twice in “Best American Short Stories,” and five of his plays have won state and national contests.  His latest collection of novellas, “Marble Goddesses and Mortal Flesh,” was published in 2017 by the University of Tennessee Press.

Also a Civil War historian, Madden has published “Classics of Civil War Fiction,” “Thomas Wolfe’s Civil War” and a collection of essays, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction.”

“We are delighted to sponsor two days with the legendary East Tennessee author David Madden,” says Dr. Jesse Graves, poet in residence and associate professor of English in the ETSU Department of Literature and Language.  “When I look at the range and variety of excellence in Madden’s work, I am convinced that he is indeed a ‘writer for all genres,’ as a recent book about his writing was titled.

“He was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, and when I was a student there in the 1990s, Cormac McCarthy had just become a very famous writer, but all the literary connoisseurs talked about David Madden.  It was thrilling to discover the work of an old-school literary ‘Renaissance man.’”