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The Art of the Short Story

The Art of the Short Story: Jill McCorkle on Old Crimes with Amy Hempel

Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT February 28, 2024

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

Continuing our series about the possibilities of writing in the short form, we welcome Jill McCorkle (Life After Life, Hieroglyphics) to celebrate her wry and rich collection: Old Crimes and Other Stories. Old Crimes delves into the lives of characters who hold their secrets and misdeeds close, even as the past continues to reverberate over time and across generations: In “Low Tones,” a woman uses her hearing impairment as a way to guard herself from her husband’s commentary. In “Lineman,” a telephone lineman strains to connect to his family even as he feels pushed aside in a digital world. In “Confessional,” a young couple buys a confessional booth for fun, only to discover the cost of honesty. Legendary short-fiction writer Amy Hempel (Sing to It) joins McCorkle in conversation about her perceptive, intimate stories of longing, affection, and regret. After the conversation, McCorkle will sign books.

Old Crimes

In Conversation

  • Jill McCorkle (c) Tom Rankin

    Jill McCorkle

    Jill McCorkle

    Jill McCorkle has the distinction of having published her first two novels on the same day in 1984. Of these novels, the New York Times Book Review said: “one suspects the author of The Cheer Leader is a born novelist. With July 7th, she is also a full grown one.” Since then she has published five other novels—most recently, Hieroglyphics—and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books and four of her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, the North Carolina Award for Literature and the Thomas Wolfe Prize; she was recently inducted into the NC Literary Hall of Fame. McCorkle has taught at Harvard, Brandeis, and NC State where she remains affiliated with the MFA Program in creative writing and she is core faculty in the Bennington Writing Seminars.

    Photo Credit: Tom Rankin

  • AMY HEMPEL - Please credit Vicki Topaz

    Amy Hempel

    Amy Hempel

    ​​Amy Hempel is the author of five collections of stories, most recently Sing to It. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Award, the REA Award, the Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and more.

    Photo Credit: Vicki Topaz