University of South Carolina

Five writers sign up for ‘Caught in the Creative Act’

Novelist Tom Perrotta, South Carolina writer Ron Rash and Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman are among the writers who will participate in the fall installment of “Caught in the Creative Act,” the popular series of readings and lectures given by well-known writers, at the University of South Carolina.

“Caught in the Creative Act” is one of the most popular community offerings by the university, attracting people throughout the state to participate. Led by Carolina Distinguished Professor Janette Turner Hospital, the series features readings and lectures given by well-known writers. Sessions will take place from 5:45 - 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Gambrell Hall auditorium from Oct. 19 through Nov. 18.

“Authors love ‘Caught in the Creative Act,’ which has led to its reputation as one of the best authors series around,” Hospital said. “Both E.L. Doctorow and Richard Ford, who are both used to huge audiences, said they had never experienced, as authors, anything as thrilling as the ‘Caught in the Creative Act’ audience, where everyone had read and thought about their books and had prepared pleasingly fresh and provocative questions for them.”

The course is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Proof of registration is required for entrance. Because of the popularity of the authors, early arrival is encouraged.

To register for upcoming sessions, send name and address to Janette Turner Hospital by mail, email or fax. Contact information is as follows: “Caught in the Creative Act,” department of English, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; fax 803-777-9064; email

In addition to Perotta, Rash and Grossman, this year’s lineup will include novelist Ceridwen Dovey and writer and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams. “Caught in the Creative Act” participants will read Rash’s “Serena,” Dovey’s “Blood Kin,” Grossman’s “The Magicians,” Perotta’s “Little Children” and Williams’ “Finding Beauty in a Broken World.” For more information on each of the authors, visit the “Caught in the Creative Act” Web site:

“Caught in the Creative Act” has brought many award-winning authors to campus, including Nobel laureate Derek Walcott; Pulitzer and/or National Book Award winners Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford, Robert Pinksy, Richard Rhodes, Robert Olen Butler and Geraldine Brooks; Commonwealth Prize winner Shauna Singh Baldwin; and many other distinguished writers, from Salman Rushdie and Stanley Crouch to E.L. Doctorow, Susan Vreeland and Josephine Humphreys.

This is the eighth year of “Caught in the Creative Act,” an undergraduate honors course that is open to the larger community. The format calls for students and community participants to read a variety of novels, short-story and poetry collections, memoirs and literary non-fiction. They then meet the authors, who read from their works, discuss the creative process and answer questions.

Hospital, creator of “Caught in the Creative Act,” is also an award-winning writer. Her latest novel, “Orpheus Lost,” was named to Booklist’s Top 30 novels of the year and the American Library Association’s Best 25 Books of the Year. Her previous novel, “Due Preparations for the Plague,” earned Hospital the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2003 and the Davitt Award for Best Crime Novel by an Australian Woman in 2003 by Sisters of Crime, one of Australia’s largest literary societies.

Hospital grew up in Queensland, Australia, and taught at universities in Australia, Canada, England, France and the United States before joining the English department as a distinguished writer in residence, a post previously held by the late James Dickey.

For more information about “Caught in the Creative Act,” visit the Web site: In addition to biographical sketches on each author and the schedule, the Web site features video from previous year’s readings, including one by Salman Rushdie.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 05/13/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 05/28/09 @ 12:54 PM | Permalink