On the heels of releasing the final book in his popular trilogy The Passage, New York Times best-selling author Justin Cronin will take part in a multiday residency at Virginia Tech, which will include a free talk at the Moss Arts Center on Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m.
“An Evening with Justin Cronin” will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. The event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.
Cronin’s talk is presented by the Moss Arts Center as part of the Viral Imaginations residency sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Department of English, the master of fine arts program in creative writing, and the Edward S. Diggs Professorship in the Humanities.
Cronin’s trilogy began with The Passage, which has sold more than a million copies since its release. This was followed by the sequels The Twelve and The City of Mirrors, which was released in May 2016.
The Passage features supernatural antagonists with exceptional strength and a thirst for blood in a post-apocalyptic setting. Not a typical vampire novel, The Passage begins with a devastating breach of security at a U.S. government facility. Death-row inmates have been deliberately infected with a rare virus, giving them superhuman strength and insatiable bloodlust.
The Passage spent three months on the New York Times bestseller list and was featured on more than a dozen best-of-the-year lists, including Time’s “Top 10 Fiction of 2010,” NPR’s “Year’s Most Transporting Books,” and Esquire’s “Best & Brightest of 2010.”
Cronin is also the author of Mary and O’Neil, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize, and The Summer Guest. Other honors for his writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award.
Currently a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Rice University, Cronin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.
Cronin’s talk at the Moss Arts Center will be immediately followed by a post-performance discussion and question-and-answer session.
On Feb. 1, at 4 p.m., Cronin will present a craft talk in the Moss Arts Center’s Cube. The author will discuss his approach to writing during this informal presentation and dialogue.
Cronin will also participate in the panel discussion “Viral Imaginations” on Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cube. The discussion will explore how the viral imagination is expressed in science, fiction, and science fiction and how narrative depictions of the apocalypse and the science of infectious disease influence each other.
Panelists joining Cronin for the discussion include Priscilla Wald, the R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English at Duke University; Thomas Kerkering, professor of medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and chief of infectious diseases and medical director of infection control at Carilion Clinic; Kathleen Alexander, veterinarian and associate professor of wildlife in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment; and Rebecca Hester, assistant professor in the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech. The panel will be moderated by Bernice Hausman, Edward S. Diggs Professor in the Humanities in Virginia Tech’s Department of English.
Both the craft talk and panel discussion are free and open to the public, but admission is first-come, first-served. To guarantee a seat, call the Moss Arts Center’s box office at 540-231-5300 or register online.