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Writer John McNally


Writer John McNally

John McNally, author of the forthcoming The Boy Who Really, Really Wanted to Have Sex: The Memoir of a Fat Kid, will give a reading in Hanes Art Gallery, Scales Fine Arts Center, as part of the English department's Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series. A reception will follow.

This event is free and open to the general public. 

In his first memoir, celebrated writer John McNally gives readers an honest and often mischievous look at his working class childhood in Midwestern America. This intimate, biting look into John's transient family takes readers through two states, five grade schools, 210 pounds, and a lifetime of insecurity.

Like Dickens's David Copperfield, he hopes to be the hero of his own story, but unlike David Copperfield, he is a fat boy who breaks kids' noses in karate and has fantasies of living in a nudist camp with his kindergarten teacher. He saves his family at age four but unwittingly commits a felony at age eight. From an explosive night living in an Illinois trailer park to tumultuous father-son bonding at the flea market, McNally gives the skinny on life being fat. Hilarious and poignant, McNally shows readers that, in the end, remembering one's bitter past can, in fact, be sweet.

John McNally:

John McNally is the author of three novels: After the WorkshopAmerica’s Report Card, and The Book of Ralph; one YA novel, Lord of the Ralphs; and two story collections, Troublemakers (winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award and the Nebraska Book Award) and Ghosts of Chicago (a Chicagoland Indie Bestseller and voted one of the top twenty fiction books of 2008 by readers of The Believer). He has also written two books for writers: The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist and Vivid and Continuous: Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction. John’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including The Washington PostThe Sun, and Virginia Quarterly Review. A native of Chicago’s southwest suburb Burbank, John divides his time between Lafayette, Louisiana, where he is Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery
1834 Wake Forest Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Event Type



Academics, English

Target Audience

Alumni, Faculty, General Public, Staff, Students



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