The Achill Henirich Böll Association is pleased to host a reading by John C Hampsey at The Vally House, Achill on Wednesday September 12 at 8pm.
John C Hampsey is professor of British Romanticism and Classical Literature at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he has won the University Distinguished Teaching Award. Previously, he taught at MIT and Boston University. He received his BA from Holy Cross College and his PhD from Boston College.
His book, Paranoia and Contentment: A Personal Essay on Western Thought (2005, University of Virginia Press ) won an enthusiastic endorsement from Lawrence Ferlinghetti who stated: "This beautifully written book turns upside down our standard thinking about creativity, imagination, and what it is to be wholly human."
Paranoia and Contentment was the first book to view paranoia in a positive light and to use the concept to re-examine Western thought. Professor Hampsey’s boyhood memoir, Kaufman’s Hill (Bancroft Press, hardcover, February 2015 ), is set in Pittsburgh between 1961-68. Howard Zinn called Kaufman’s Hill "the best book on American boyhood in decades".
Tim O’Brien claims that "Kaufman’s Hill is among the most touching, sensitive, and spellbinding memoirs I’ve encountered in many years. Beautifully and exactly written, this book will surely reach into the hearts of its readers. I was deeply moved." In 2015, Professor Hampsey did a national tour of 31 readings in 24 cities for Kaufman’s Hill.
Professor Hampsey’s nearly completed new work, a novel entitled Soda Lake, is an existential mystery mixed with autobiography and fantasy. During his career, Hampsey has had more than thirty stories and essays published in such places as The Gettysburg Review (four times ), The Midwest Quarterly, Philosophy and Literature, Antioch Review, The Alaska Quarterly, The Boston Globe, Arizona Quarterly, European Romantic Review, Witness, Colby Quarterly, and McNeese Review, among others. He lives in San Luis Obispo, California.