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A student watches carefully to see what restaurant his Humanities Section will visit for The Novel Experience town-and-gown event.SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Nationally acclaimed author Larry Heinemann, whose novel “Paco’s Story” was the summer reading for Wofford College’s first-year students, will be on campus for two events on Thursday, Sept. 21 – The Novel Experience Convocation at 11 a.m. and an 8 p.m. reading.

Heinemann’s National Book Award-winning novel was the selection assigned to first-year students for The Novel Experience, an innovative program that brings the author of the assigned summer reading book to campus to interact with students.  This is the fifth year for the program.  Previous authors have been Ha Jin (“Waiting”), Charles Johnson (“Middle Passages”), Geraldine Brooks (“Year of Wonders”) and Orson Scott Card (“Ender’s Game”).Larry Heinemann

All incoming members of the Class of 2010 read “Paco’s Story” over the summer, and joined their Humanities Sections as part of orientation at local restaurants last week to discuss the book.  Each student wrote an essay concerning the novel, and one essay from each section was selected for publication in a book to be distributed at Thursday’s convocation.

The public is invited to attend the two events, which are free.  Both will take place in Leonard Auditorium in Wofford’s Main Building.

“Paco’s Story” is about Paco Sullivan, “the only man in Alpha Company to survive a cataclysmic Vietcong attack on Fire Base Harriette in Vietnam,” and what happens to him after he returns to the United States.

Heinemann, a native of Chicago, served a tour of duty with the 25th Division in Vietnam.  He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the William Fulbright Scholarship Program.  He is the author of two other novels, “Close Quarters” and “Cooler by the Lake,” as well as a memoir, “Black Virgin Mountains.”  His writing has received several honors, including the National Book Award and the Carl Sandburg Award.