Campus News: Lee Welcomes Jill McCorkle for Writer's Series

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Lee Welcomes Jill McCorkle for Writer's Series
Eliza Souers - 3/23/2022

Lee Welcomes Jill McCorkle for Writer's Series


Lee recently welcomed author Jill McCorkle to continue this year's Writer's Series. The event, hosted by Lee's Department of Language and Literature, took place on Lee's campus.


"I am thrilled to be here," said McCorkle. "It's the first time I've been anywhere in person in two years, and it's such a pleasure to travel here and be able to talk to students face-to-face again."


During the event, McCorkle read from her newest novel, "Hieroglyphics," which is about uncovering past mysteries and secrets, intentions and dreams, and the legacies families leave.


"I was excited to hear Jill McCorkle speak because, as a young writer, it's not often that I get to interact with professional writers and novelists," said Tory Irmeger, a senior writing major at Lee. "McCorkle read several passages from her novel and explained the historical context for the characters. I enjoyed hearing her speak to her process of creating the novel, including how she took inspiration from events in Boston and North Carolina to form the setting and identities of the narrators."


Following the reading, McCorkle answered questions about her characters, inspiration, and writing process, followed by a book signing.


"I was thrilled with the response to our Writer's Series event with best-selling author Jill McCorkle," said Dr. Donna Summerlin, chair of the Department of Language and Literature. "Her reading and presentation were accessible and engaging, and she expressed gratitude for the students' thoughtful comments and questions. I am thankful for our writing faculty for arranging such a rich academic opportunity for our students, the Lee family, and our community."


Prior to the reading, local 8th-12th graders read creative works as part of the Spark Writing Contest, hosted by Lee. The winner of the contest, 11th grader Jessica Edgemon from Walker Valley High School, read her poem, "Home."


Noted as "a born novelist," McCorkle has published seven novels and four collections of short stories. Her first two novels, "The Cheer Leader" and "July 7th," were published simultaneously in 1984, right after she graduated college. She has appeared in Best American Short Stories and The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. Her novel "Life After Life" was a New York Times bestseller, and she has published several New York Times Notable Books.


McCorkle is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and teaches at North Carolina State University, where she is affiliated with the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. She was previously a Briggs-Copeland lecturer in fiction at Harvard and the chair of the Department of Creative Writing there. McCorkle received her MFA from Hollins University (previously Hollins College) and her Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina State University.


For more information about McCorkle, visit


For more information on the Writer's Series, contact Woolfitt at

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