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Arts & Culture

Letters, Memories, And A Private Archive Of Best-Selling NC Author Allan Gurganus

Best-selling North Carolinian author Allan Gurganus.
Courtesy of Roger Haile
Best-selling North Carolinian author Allan Gurganus.

Allan Gurganus is a New York Times best-selling author whose work has been seen on both television and the Broadway stage. The TV adaptation of his novel “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” won four primetime Emmy awards, including a best supporting actress win for Cicely Tyson. He built much of his career telling stories of the old South, but in his early days Gurganus was an aspiring artist who studied painting at the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 

The worlds he created through both writing and art converge in the new exhibit "Allan Gurganus: A Writer's Sketchbooks” on view at the Power Plant Gallery in Durham through Jan. 19. Duke University’s Rubenstein Library recently acquired an archive of Gurganus’ papers, and Gurganus joins host Frank Stasio to share details from his life, work, and private archive, including memories of his time in the Navy, how his first work got published, and how 60 boxes of material became an exhibit.

On Thursday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. Gurganus will read excerpts from his forthcoming book "The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church" at a reception at The Rubenstein Library. Guests will also be invited to view some of his never-before-seen work that ranges from sketches to personal letters. 

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