1 N. College St.
Northfield, Minnesota 55057

Author Gregory Blake Smith, professor of English and chair of the English department, will give a reading from his new novel, titled ?The Madonna of Las Vegas? on Thursday, September 29 at 4 p.m. at Carleton College?s Gould Library Athenaeum. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

?The Madonna of Las Vegas? begins with the countdown to a new millennium. The protagonist, Cosmo Dust, watches in dismay as the wreckage of his life comes into garish focus in the phantasmagoric glow of Las Vegas. Mourning the senseless death of his wife, he is spending his days frescoing a faux Sistine Chapel ceiling and flirting with the myriad opportunities Vegas offers for self-annihilation. When a seductive femme fatale and a trick-turning cocktail waitress barges into Dust?s misery, he finds his world?and the world?turned inside out. She and Dust must escape the clutches of the cops, the bad guys, the coming apocalypse, the tendency for all things Vegas to spiral toward entropy and?most importantly of all?their own pasts, if they are to have any hope of creating new lives in a new world.

The Washington Post Book World has called the book ?[a]n intelligent and hilarious little novel . . . Comic and serious, poignant and satiric, it brings you at times to break-out-loud laughter. [Smith] is an intellectual and witty writer, using his considerable powers with elegant precision.? The New York Time Book Review said it was ?adroit, comic yet moving, crackling with flawless, cross-purpose dialogue, and decorously erotic.?

Smith received his A.B. from Bowdoin College and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers? Workshop. His writing has earned numerous awards, including a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and the George Bennett Fellowship at Phillips Exeter Academy. He also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Smith is the author of two previous novels, ?The Devil in the Dooryard? and ?The Divine Comedy of John Venner,? which was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times. His short fiction has appeared in various literary journals, including The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review and StoryQuarterly, and has been reprinted in such anthologies as ?The Pushcart Prizes? and ?The New Generation.? He has taught American literature and creative writing courses at Carleton since 1987.

The Carleton English Department is sponsoring the event. For more information and disability accommodations, call Carleton?s library at (507) 646-4260.

Added by carlmedr on September 7, 2005

Interested 1