University of Pittsburgh
October 28, 2003

Pitt to Hold Reading Commemorating English Professor's Newest Book Nov. 3

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh's English department will hold a reading to celebrate the publication of Pitt Professor Lee Gutkind's newest book, Forever Fat: Essays by the Godfather (University of Nebraska Press, 2003), at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, in Oakland.

Forever Fat is a hilarious memoir of Gutkind's colorful life as a motorcyclist, a medical insider, a sailor, a college professor, an over-aged insecure father, and a literary whipping boy. This collection of essays was partially inspired by an October 1997 Vanity Fair article by James Wolcott lambasting Gutkind as the "godfather behind creative nonfiction." Wolcott's derision ignited an ongoing controversy that turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to Gutkind and, subsequently, to the literary genre of creative nonfiction.

Articles about Forever Fat have recently appeared in Harper's Magazine and Poets & Writers, acknowledging Gutkind's influence in the creative nonfiction movement and reviving the "godfather" title. Forever Fat opens by addressing the controversy surrounding creative nonfiction with a quote from Oscar Wilde: "There is one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

Former director of the writing program at Pitt and currently a professor of English, Gutkind has pioneered the teaching of creative nonfiction through workshops and readings presented throughout the United States. He also is the founder and editor of CNF, the first and now the most distinguished literary magazine devoted to creative nonfiction.

CNF and the Creative Nonfiction Foundation have provided support and inspiration to both young and established writers through a book series, conferences, community dialogues, and other educational programs.

The event is cosponsored by the Book Center.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the reading in the Cloisters. For more information, call 412-624-6633.