Kenneth Womack, the 2013-14 Penn State laureate, will visit Penn State DuBois on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Between noon and 1:25 p.m. in the Hiller Auditorium, Womack will deliver a presentation titled "Tales of the Forgotten: Selections from 'The Restaurant at the End of the World.'" All members of the public and campus community are welcome to attend.
Professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona, Womack also serves as senior associate dean for Academic Affairs.
"The Restaurant at the End of the World," published in 2012, is Womack’s second novel. It traces the final hours in the lives of the staff of the Windows on the World restaurant atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Womack’s presentation celebrates the lives of the characters through readings from the novel. An extensively researched book based upon the actual people who worked at Windows on the World, The Restaurant at the End of the World will appeal to anyone who has suffered the sudden throes of human tragedy; the loss of a loved one, who, seemingly moments before, was vividly living out their aspirations.
Womack is the author of three novels: "John Doe No. 2" and the "Dreamland Motel" (2010), which earned ForeWord Reviews’ Bronze Award for Literary Fiction; "The Restaurant at the End of the World" (2012), which earned a Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Regional Fiction; and "Playing the Angel" (forthcoming, 2013).
Womack is also the author or editor of numerous works of nonfiction, including "Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles" (2007) and "The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles" (2009), which was named as The Independent’s Music Book of the Year. His latest Beatles-oriented work, "The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four," will be released in February in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the group’s legendary appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
Established in 2008, the Penn State Laureateship was founded in order to provide an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences.