Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Geoff Dyer

Photograph by Matt Stuart.

English author Geoff Dyer takes liberties with the boundaries of conventional literary genres such as novel and travel narrative, fiction and nonfiction. Subtle, and frequently observational in its narration, his prose moves between the personal and general and often inspires his readers to take stock of their own tendencies. Dyer won the 2009 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Best Comic Novel for Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; not long after, he was named GQ Writer of the Year. His books encompass a broad range of subjects: The Ways of Telling (1988) is a study of art critic John Berger that is an early clue to Dyer’s concerns with issues of perception; But Beautiful (1991) is a study of jazz; The Missing of the Somme (1994) dwells on memory and World War I; Out of Sheer Rage (1997) considers D. H. Lawrence; Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It (2003) describes a trip to the East; The Ongoing Moment (2005) is about photography; his collection of essays and reviews titled Otherwise Known as the Human Condition (2011) won a National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism; and then there is Another Great Day At Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (2015). White Sands, a collection of travel essays and meditations on some fundamental questions of existence, was published in 2016 .

Dyer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is writer in residence at USC.

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