Friday, September 23, 2011
Pulitzer Prize Nominated Author Speaks at UWG
Stories of the experience of war are not difficult to come by, and in fact the subject might be one of the most prevalent in literature. It is a subject that National Book Award Winner Tim O’Brien is all too familiar with, and he’s filled countless pages with stories of his own experience with war from his time in the jungles of Vietnam.
Visitors to the University of West Georgia’s Coliseum were expecting such a story from the internationally acclaimed writer Wednesday night, and though they heard a story, it wasn’t a recital of O’Brien’s short story “The Things They Carried,” as the university had planned. Instead, O’Brien told a story of stories.
“The thing about being a writer is that you’re bound to a contract with yourself to be honest,” he told his audience. “None of us got into the business of writing to be liars. I’m not a public speaker, I spend my hours in my underwear in front of my computer. I’m just a guy who tries to tell stories. I feel pressure to offer morals or offer wisdom, but good stories are not meant to give counsel or advice or to tell you how to live your life. A good story will make your stomach turn and believe, it’s aimed at all of you, trying to make not just your head but your body believe.”