Award-winning writer George Saunders named Ross and Marianna Beach Author, will visit Lawrence this fall

This April 23, 2013 AP file photo shows writer George Saunders at the TIME 100 Gala celebrating the 100

Award-winning author George Saunders will visit Lawrence this fall as part of the Lawrence Public Library’s 2017 Ross and Marianna Beach Author Series, the library announced in partnership with the University of Kansas Libraries Monday.

“George Saunders is a literary master at his peak,” Brad Allen, the Lawrence Public Library’s executive director, said in a statement. “He is a New York Times bestselling author, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a MacArthur Genius Grant winner, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.”

Known as a “master of the short story,” according to the library’s press release, Saunders published his first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” in February 2017. The book, which tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s grief over the death of his son Willie in 1862, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. “Lincoln in the Bardo” was one of 13 novels to earn a place on the prestigious Man Booker Prize longlist earlier this month.

“An Evening with George Saunders” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St. The program is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Doors will open at 6 that evening, with a book signing (and copies of Saunders’ novel available for purchase through the Raven Bookstore) following the program.

The next day, Saunders will visit the KU campus for a conversation with students about his writing process.

A gift to the community from the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation, the namesake series brings a prominent author to Lawrence each year. Past Beach Authors include James McBride in 2014, Karen Russell in 2015 and Geraldine Brooks in 2016. “An Evening with George Saunders” will be presented as part of the Libraries Love Lawrence initiative, a partnership between the Lawrence Public Library and KU Libraries that works to build a stronger, more efficient and engaged library presence in Lawrence.