San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 31st, 2009
Tim O'Brien to give reading at Alkek

Author Tim O’Brien draws heavily on his experience in Vietnam in much of his work.


Prize-winning author Tim O’Brien will give a reading and book signing at Texas State’s Alkek Library next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The reading will be on the seventh floor of the library in the Witliff Collection. The event is co-sponsored by the Therese Kayser Lindsey Series and Texas State’s Department of English.

Tim O’Brien is the author of Going After Cacciato, winner of the 1979 National Book Award in fiction, and The Things They Carried, which was named by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of 1990. The Things They Carried also received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction, and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

His book In the Lake of the Woods was named by Time Magazine as the best novel of 1994. The book also received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction from the Society of American Historians. It was selected as one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times. He also wrote the books If I Die in a Combat Zone, Northern Lights, and The Nuclear Age.

His two most recent books, Tomcat in Love and July, July, were national bestsellers. This summer, his essay, “Telling Tales,” on the craft of fiction appeared in The Atlantic Fiction Issue.

Strongly focused on O’ Brien’s experiences in Vietnam, his short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, Atlantic, Playboy, Granta, Gentleman’s Quarterly, The New Yorker, and in several editions of The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories. In 1987 he received the National Magazine Award for his story “The Things They Carried,” which was also selected for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.

Born and raised in Minnesota, O’Brien got his bachelor’s degree at Macalaster College in St. Paul. After serving as an infantry foot soldier in Vietnam, he went to graduate school at Harvard University and received an internship at the Washington Post. O’Brien has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information contact, Michael Noll at (512) 568-6637 or email him at

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