University of Pittsburgh
January 14, 2014

Pitt Hosts Social Commentator and Writer Hilton Als Jan. 27

Literary Reading is part of the 2013-14 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Season
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Described as “fearsomely brilliant” by the Chicago Tribune, nonfiction writer, social commentator, and theater critic Hilton Als will deliver a reading from his award-winning works of literature at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 27 in the University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The free, public event is part of the University’s 2013-14 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. 

Als is the author of the recently released, critically acclaimed nonfiction book White Girls (McSweeney’s Publishing, 2013). TheHilton Als book has received praise in such notable publications as The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Journal of Books, among others, for its fresh commentary on matters related to gender, race, and sexuality. Als also is the author of The Women (Macmillan Publishers, 1996) and was a contributing essayist to the book Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (Twin Palms Publishers, 2000). 

“Hilton Als is one of the most stylish, original, and idiosyncratic writers in America,” said Pitt English professor Peter Trachtenberg, who reviewed White Girls for the Los Angeles Review of Books. “He writes about the interstices of race, gender, desire, and taste, and from within them. In doing so, he makes the old binaries of black and white, male and female, gay and straight seem as obsolete as a VHS tape.”

Als has served as the theater critic for The New Yorker since 2002. Prior to arriving at The New Yorker in 1994, he served as a staff writer for The Village Voice as well as the editor-at-large for Vibe magazine. His work has been published in such notable publications as The Nation, The Believer, and The New York Review of Books. Als also served as the catalogue editor for the exhibition Black Male: Representation of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art, which ran at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City from November 1994 to March 1995. 

Als’s honors and distinctions include the 2004 Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, the 2002-03 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism and a Guggenheim Fellowship for creative writing in 2000. In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both the Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment categories. 

A resident of New York City, Als has taught at Smith College, Wesleyan University, and Yale University. 

The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program and University Store on Fifth cosponsor the 2013-14 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season. For more information, visit or contact 412-624-6508.