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ASMS Students Meet Novelist Percival Everett

Acclaimed fiction writer Percival Everett visited the University of South Alabama this past Tuesday, and students from the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science were invited to meet him.

Professor Everett teaches at the University of Southern California and is the author of such novels as Dr. No, The Trees, and Erasure. Erasure was recently adapted by Cord Jefferson into the film American Fiction, which earned five Academy Award nominations in 2023.

ASMS students Mary Whittington and Jana Abernathy attended a fiction writing master class hosted by Professor Everett, where he offered advice on researching potential projects, drawing on lived experiences, and maintaining creative distance from a subject. He advised students that one of the best ways to gain skill in writing is to constantly read and learn from the examples of other writers.

More ASMS students, including Alayla Roussell and Jayna Todd, attended Professor Everett’s fiction reading later that evening, where he read selections from Dr. No and The Trees and answered questions from audience members. During this segment, he mentioned that his background as a STEM student and researcher helped prepare him for his writing career.

Our students were excited to learn more about writing from a kindred spirit like Professor Everett, who happily described himself to attendees as a “nerd.” This is a title that we at ASMS are also happy to embrace.

Everett asms
ASMS students Mary Whittington, Jana Abernathy, Jayna Todd, and Alayla Roussell pose with Professor Everett.
  • Jan 31, 2024