SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Russell Banks, an award-winning and bestselling novelist, will read his work at Seton Hall on at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the university's Jubilee Hall Auditorium.

His presentation is part of the university's Poetry-in-the-Round reading series.

“As director of Poetry-in-the-Round, I aim to bring the best living writers to Seton Hall and to my mind, Russell Banks's novels are some of the most interesting, vibrant, and important books by a contemporary novelist,” program director Nathan Oates said. 

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The event is free and open to the public. After the reading, there will be a question-and-answer period and a book signing. Copies of his books are available at the University Bookstore.

“Russell Banks is this year's Giroux Reader, which is made possible by a generous donation from the Robert Giroux Foundation,” Oates said. “This donation has made it possible for us to bring some of the most notable American writers, including John Ashbery, Joyce Carol Oates, E.L. Doctorow and C.K. Williams to campus in recent years.”

Oates said Banks will decide what he chooses to read. “But I can assure you whatever he reads will be compelling,” Oates said.

Oates said he heard Banks read at the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute and called it “the most riveting reading I’ve ever attended.”

Banks is the author of many books including "The Darling," "The Sweet Hereafter," "Cloudsplitter," "Rule of the Bone," "Affliction," "Success Stories," "Continental Drift," "Searching for Survivors," "Trailerpark," "The Book of Jamaica" and many others.

“I also aim to bring writers that I think will interest and entertain our audience, and Russell Banks is renowned as an excellent reader of his fiction,” Oates said.

Banks has been honored with various awards including the Ingram Merrill Award, the John Dos Passos Award, the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Laure Bataillon Prize for best work of fiction translated into French, for the French edition of "The Darling." 

He won the 2011 Common Wealth Award for Literature and in that same year, the French Minister of Culture awarded Banks the rank of Officier des Arts et Lettres.

The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.