Jim Gavin speaks at Young Library: Author reads excerpts from work

By Dylan Woodward

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Jim Gavin, the author of , came to the William T. Young Library Tuesday evening to read excerpts from his own work.

Andrew Ewell,  an assistant English professor, introduced Gavin. He state that the two of them met at a Masters of Fine Arts program in Boston. At that time, Ewell only knew that Gavin was from southern California and that he was a plumber salesman.

Gavin had, in fact, been published in the by that point. When asked how he felt being published, he said, “Like a fraud — I pulled a fast one.”

Gavin introduced his book as “basically a tour of (his) failed careers.” One of his nonfiction essays, “Hacks,” was about a sports writer who worked with Walt Brady, an unknown mentor relationship at the time.

Gavin said that “Brady” was inspired by a real person he worked with in California and in “Hacks,” the sports writer gets older and finds out that he was following Brady’s tracks.

“Fiction to me is to resurrect those people you can’t see anymore and I didn’t want to make Walt too fictional,” Gavin said.

Gavin then read “Illuminati,” a fictional piece from his book .

In the story, Sean, a would-be-screenwriter, gets a call from his lifelong friend Fig about a fantastic story he has for him. The story uses that frame to delve into his past.

Gavin also discussed his writing process.

“A balance between comedy or pathos is usually underneath pain, sorrow, lust, death,” Gavin said, “which I believe are the best subjects to me to write about.”