Allan Gurganus | Nasher Museum of Art | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week

Page: Readings & Signings

Allan Gurganus

When: Wed., July 20, 11 a.m. 2016

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20

ALLAN GURGANUS

Set at the dawn of the sixties in a rural Florida rendered antique by the space program, "My Heart Is a Snake Farm" introduces us to a retired Ohio librarian named Esther, who has led a life in muted colors due to her snaggled front teeth. Having never experienced physical love, she's resigned to the peculiar freedom of presiding over a twelve-room motel in Florida that she prefers to keep empty. The sudden arrival of a reptile-themed roadside attraction across the street upends her spinsterhood, but before she can decide whether to be shocked or offended, the venue's roguish proprietor becomes impossible to ignore: "This man had a brown face like a very good Italian valise left out in a forest during World War Two and just refound. Weathered, but you could still see how fine its starter materials had been." In Esther's particular circumstances, so masterfully described, Gurganus depicts a universal: namely, the thrill of realizing that our world may not be as circumscribed as we imagine, of simply knowing, "This is my life that I am living." Read by the author, a North Carolina native, in the Nasher Reads series, the story promises to be even more transporting than it is on the page. —David Klein

NASHER MUSEUM OF ART, DURHAM11 a.m., free, www.nasher.duke.edu

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