Jennifer duBois, Author of "Cartwheel," to Appear at TU's McFarlin Library

Nov 19, 2015

On this edition of our show, we get to know the novelist and short story writer Jennifer duBois, who teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University. Her first novel, "A Partial History of Lost Causes," was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and her second, "Cartwheel," won the Housatonic Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Stanford University Stegner Fellow, duBois is also the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award. She'll be reading from "Cartwheel" tonight (Thursday the 19th) at 7pm in the McFarlin Library's Faculty Study on the TU campus; the reading is free to the public and presented by the TU English Department. As was noted of "Cartwheel" is a starred review in Booklist: "Lily Hayes, 21, is a study-abroad student in Buenos Aires. Her life seems fairly unexceptional until her roommate, Katy, is brutally murdered, and Lily, charged with the crime, is remanded to prison pending her trial. But is she guilty, and who is Lily, really? To find answers to these questions, the novel is told from multiple points of view -- not only that of Lily but also that of her family; of sardonic Sebastien, the boy with whom she has been having an affair; and of the prosecutor in the case. In the process, it raises even more questions. What possible motive could Lily have had? Why, left momentarily alone after her first interrogation, did she turn a cartwheel? And has she, as her sister asserts, always been weird? In her skillful examination of these matters, the author does an excellent job of creating and maintaining a pervasive feeling of foreboding and suspense. Sometimes bleak, duBois' ambitious second novel is an acute psychological study of character that rises to the level of the philosophical, specifically the existential.... Fans of character-driven literary fiction will welcome its challenges. Though inspired by the Amanda Knox case, 'Cartwheel' is very much its own individual work of the author's creative imagination."