Mark Winegardner is coming home. The author, known for his literary masterpiece Crooked River Burning, as well as The Godfather Returns and The Godfather’s Revenge, currently resides in Florida where he continues to write and, also, teach at Florida State University as a professor in the creative writing program.
Winegardner was born in Bryan, (Williams County) Ohio, not far from the Indiana border, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Miami University. He later went on to receive a master of fine arts degree in fiction writing from George Mason University and has dedicated his life to the art of writing.
Crooked River Burning was his love song to Cleveland. The novel, focusing on one man’s quest to pursue what he considers a proper Midwestern life, crosses multiple decades and hits on the high and low notes of various historical events that defined the 216.
In 2006, five years after the book was published, Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King) in his Entertainment Weekly column named Crooked River Burning as one of his top 10 books. His exact words? “A great American novel about…Cleveland? Yes, children, this is the real deal — by the man who has revived Mario Puzo’s Godfather characters with such wit and élan.”
This Sat 6/30 Winegardner returns to what he admits is the “only place I’ve ever lived that felt like home” and will be doing a reading at Cleveland State University (CSU) as part of the school’s Imagination Writer Workshop series. When I asked Mark what he’ll be sharing with his audience, he responded, “Most probably it will be a sneak preview of the novel I’m finishing now. Or it might be a short story.”
Regardless, we’re all in for a real treat. From a real writer. Influenced and inspired by a real city.
Reading will take place on Sat 6/30 at 7 p.m. in the Main Classroom Auditorium at CSU and is free. http://CSUOhio.edu.
Reprinted with permission and gratitude from CoolCleveland.com. Book image: Amazon.com.