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Front Page - Friday, March 20, 2020

Writers@Work bringing ‘Big Fish’ author to Chattanooga




Chattanooga State will welcome author Daniel Wallace to Chattanooga for a weeklong celebration of his novel “Big Fish” in April. - Photograph provided

The Chattanooga State Humanities Department’s Writers@Work program will welcome author Daniel Wallace to Chattanooga for a weeklong celebration of his novel “Big Fish” April 6-10.

The Writers@Work series celebrates Southern literature by integrating the work of selected authors into the curriculum of the department’s Composition Two course.

Each year, the nearly 1,500 students enrolled in Composition Two engage in activities focused on a specific work while practicing course skills.

Every April, the Writers@Work featured author comes to Chattanooga to share his or her work and writing experience with the faculty, staff and students of Chattanooga State and the general public.

Publishers Weekly describes “Big Fish” as featuring “a plainspoken style dotted with transcendent passages” and possessing “the transformative quality of fable and fairy tale.”

Wallace attended Emory University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but left before earning a degree to work in the family business.

After deciding he did not belong in the world of business, Wallace returned to Chapel Hill to learn to write, work in a bookstore and illustrate refrigerator magnets.

Over the next 15 years, Wallace published a number of short stories in literary journals. Algonquin Books bought and published “Big Fish” in 1998. The novel rose to bestseller status, was adapted into a film and became a Broadway musical.

After publishing two more novels, Wallace finished his degree in English in 2008 at Chapel Hill, where he is currently the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English and directs the creative writing program.

Wallace was awarded the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction in 2008 and the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year in 2019.

Writers@Work is inviting the public to the following events free of charge:

Inside the Mind of Daniel Wallace

Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater

Tuesday, April 7, 6-8:30 p.m.

Big Fish: The Musical

Chattanooga State Community College

Humanities Theatre

Thursday, April 9, 7:30-10 p.m.

Friday, April 10, 7:30-10 p.m.

Saturday, April 11, 7:30-10 p.m.

Tickets are required for the musical. Order them at www.chattbigread.com.