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Author Betsy Cox Lets Characters Tell the Story


LOWELL- Betsy Cox, author of three published novels: Night Talk, The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love and Familiar Ground, as well as a book of short stories, Bargains in the Real World, has been selected as this year's Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at UMass Lowell.

"My main emphasis is on characters more than plot," says Cox. "Once I have the characters, I listen to how the plot develops." Cox admits that this probably makes the writing process take much longer. Her novels take about five years to complete.

The author will be on campus during the spring semester teaching fiction and presenting readings of her work in two public events.

Prof. Bill Roberts, chair of English, says that Cox has extensive teaching experience in fiction at Duke University, MIT and Bennington College in Vermont.

Originally from Tennessee, Cox taught at Duke for seventeen years before becoming a visiting professor of writing at MIT. She moved to Littleton, Mass. last year so she could spend more time with her husband, Michael Curtis, an editor for Atlantic Monthly. Her two grown children, Michael and Elizabeth, live in the Atlanta area.

"I feel honored to be the Kerouac Writer-in-Residence," says Cox, "especially because of the people that preceded me."

Previous authors to be so designated were McKorkle and Andre Dubus III who was selected to inaugurate the program two years ago.

The position and the scholarship are made possible by support from John Sampas, the executor of the Jack Kerouac literary estate.

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