Top NavTop NavTop Nav

Award-winning novelist Keenan Norris appears Nov. 18 for Distinguished Writers Series


Keenan Norris

  • October 8, 2013

Keenan Norris, winner of the James D. Houston Award in 2012 for his debut novel “Brother and the Dancer,” will read from and discuss his book Monday, Nov. 18, as part of Cal State East Bay’s Distinguished Writers Series, presented by the university’s English department.

The 6 p.m. event will be held in the Biella Room of the University Library on CSUEB's Hayward Campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Admission is free, and the public is invited. A book signing and question and answer session will follow.

“Brother and the Dancer” received positive reviews, including from Jerry W. Ward Jr., distinguished professor of English and African American World Studies at Dillard University in New Orleans.

“’Brother and Dancer’ is a multi-layered story about urban modernity, class conflicts within the territory of ethnic histories, love’s options and existential rites of passage from childhood and youth into adulthood,” said Ward. “Norris does not barter with platitudes. His writing demands a sophisticated use of cultural literacy to discern psychological and spiritual patterns that complicate the lives of American youths.”

In addition to his role as novelist – his work was recently published by Heyday Books – Norris is an educator, teaching English and African American literature at Evergreen College in San Jose, where he also promotes the AFFIRM (Academic Force For Inspiration Retention and Matriculation) program. The young writer’s fiction and non-fiction work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Santa Monica, Green Mountains and Evansville reviews and Connotation Press. He also is an editor of critical essays for Scarecrow Press.

Norris earned a master’s in fine arts from Mills College in Oakland and a doctorate from the University of California, Riverside. 

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor in advance at (510) 885-3400, if accommodation is needed. Campus parking is $2 per hour, payable at kiosk machines located in campus parking lots.

Additional information about the Nov. 18 event and the Distinguished Writers Series is available at

© California State University, East Bay. All Rights Reserved.