When Philadelphia author and editor Annie Liontas visits West Chester University on Monday, Nov. 16, she will give a reading from her critically acclaimed debut novel, “Let Me Explain You,” and, according to the WCU website, “meet with students from our English major for an intimate reception to talk about craft in the context of their own writing projects.”
For some, writing comes easy. Sit them behind a keyboard and within ten minutes they will have something to show. For others, writing is grueling. It is slouching, sleeping, and scribbling in an attempt to scour anything meaningful from your brain.
However, a writer is neither. The authors and poets of our society don’t find their craft to be something that should be rushed without revision. Consequently, they don’t find writing a challenge because it’s tedious. They find it a challenge because every word needs to be placed with careful consideration and precision. It is an art form at its core and takes a long time to hone the individual voice; even longer to be able to resonate with a large number of readers. This is some of what Liontas will talk about during her visit.
The official summary of Liontas’s novel, which can be found on Amazon, is as follows: “Stavros Stavros Mavrakis, Greek immigrant and proud owner of the Gala Diner, believes he has just ten days to live. As he prepares for his final hours, he sends a scathing email to his ex-wife and three grown daughters, outlining his wishes for how they each might better live their lives. With varying degrees of laughter and scorn, his family and friends dismiss his behavior as nothing more than a plea for attention, but when Stavros disappears, those closest to him are forced to confront the possibility of his death.”
This novel goes on to be even more complex with its alternating perspectives. Amazon explains the varying points of view: “Stavros Stavros, brimming with pride and cursing in broken English; his eldest daughter Stavroula, a talented chef in love with her boss’s daughter; her sister, the wounded but resilient Litza; and many other voices who compose a veritable Greek chorus.”
According to her website, Liontas’s book was met with such acclaim that it “was featured in The New York Times Book Review as Editor’s Choice and was selected by the ABA as a 2015 Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next title.”
Having accomplished authors come to campus is certainly a goal of the Creative Writing department at WCU.
Creative Writing Club President Veronica Mattaboni notes the importance of professional writers on campus, saying that in the past she has “attended many of the author events on campus while attending WCU.”
“For some of the events I was able to have one-on-one time with the author,” said Mattaboni. “For me, I found meeting the authors to be a learning experience and very validating as a writer to hear their stories.”
Liontas’s visit is a part of the Creative Writing Reading Series, which “is made possible by generous support from the English Department and WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences.”
Before her book reading, Liontas will meet with English major students from 3:45-5 p.m. in Main Hall.
If you are interested in joining the Creative Writing Club, feel free to contact Mattaboni at VM785925@wcupa.edu or show up to the organization’s meetings on Fridays in Sykes 210 from 2-4 p.m.
If you are interested in seeing Liontas read and speak to the student body, she will be in the Philips Autographed Library in the Philips Memorial Building on Monday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.
Halle Nelson is a second-year student majoring in communication studies with minors in English literature and deaf studies. She can be reached at HN824858@wcupa.edu.