Novelist Adrianne Harun speaks at Willamette University April 3
The Hallie Ford Literary Series is concluding the year April 3 with a lecture from novelist Adrianne Harun.
Harun, a critically acclaimed fiction writer, will read from her newest book, “A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain.” The novel is about an isolated community in British Columbia, where girls begin disappearing once a series of strangers arrive in the small town.
Harun was inspired to write her book after hearing a report on NPR in 2006, which talked about the untold and uninvestigated stories of young girls who disappeared alongside Highway 16 for four decades.
She said she wanted to write about the girls, but didn’t want to use any one victim’s story.
“The goal was not to follow the news and events of Highway 16, but to make it emotionally felt, so the reader would come away saying, ‘This is personal. I know these women,’” Harun says.
Hallie Ford Chairman Scott Nadelson says the book is absolutely chilling.
“The book combines folklore, gritty realism and elements of the fantastic to create an unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town,” he says.
“I heard her read from this novel while it was still in the works, and the section she read took my breath away, literally. It was intense, terrifying and utterly compelling.”
The free event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of the Hatfield Library. After the reading, Harun will answer questions and talk about her writing process.
Harun says she is honored to be part of the Hallie Ford Literary Series, which brings renowned authors from around the world to the Willamette campus to share their work and experiences as writers.
She is both anxious and thrilled to share this particular novel with the Willamette community.
“I love being with young writers who are in the thick of it, reading like maniacs and writing fearlessly,” Harun says. “A university audience is always wonderfully engaged company, which is every writer’s dream.”
Having worked with Harun at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, Nadelson says he has admired her work for years.
“Audience members should expect to hear a voice not quite like any they’ve heard before; one that is equally aware of our desire for story and our need to delve deeply into character,” he says.
“She's a great person to end with because she embodies the spirit of the series: a dedicated artist, serious about her craft and interested to share her process with readers and writers.”
Harun lives in Port Townsend, Wash. and teaches at both Pacific Lutheran University and the Sewanee School of Letters at the University of the South.