Smart Bets: Russell Banks

Writer Russell Banks is based in upstate New York, but he has North Carolina ties: He attended UNC-Chapel Hill. Banks has authored 21 books, including fiction, non-fiction, story collections and poetry. His latest novel, Lost Memory of Skin, has been shortlisted for this year's Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. The New York Times said the book (which revolves around a group of sex offenders including "The Kid" and an iguana named Iggy) is "destined to be a canonical novel of its time" and "unfolds suspensefully, deriving an eerie moral tension from the question of just which laws The Kid actually broke." Banks will deliver the Harwood-Cole Memorial Lecture and will read from his novel at Warren Wilson College's Canon Lounge. Saturday, Nov. 17, 4 p.m. A 3 p.m. reception with music by The Dixie Darlings precedes the lecture. Free. http://warren-wilson.edu. Photo by Nancie Battaglia

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