McCall memoir will be the focus of Oct. 23 reading

By: Spencer DeRoos,  A&S Communications
October 6, 2017

Dan McCall, a beloved Cornell professor of American studies and creative writing, passed away in 2012, but his son Steven has just published his father’s memoir, “Boy on a Unicycle,” and will visit for a reading Oct. 23.

Dan McCall, who taught at Cornell for 40 years, was the critically acclaimed author of 10 books of fiction and non-fiction, including “Triphammer,” “The Example of Richard Wright,” and “Beecher.” His novel “Jack the Bear” was translated into a dozen languages and made into a 20th Century Fox feature film.

Dan McCal spent a lifetime pursuing the completion of his memoir, but despite producing dozens of drafts over the course of his lifetime, he was unable to settle on a final version, said Steven McCall. After his death,Steven decided to take up the project and see it through to completion. “Boy on a Unicycle” came out in September and the Cornell reading is set for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the English Study Lounge, 258 Goldwin Smith Hall.

“Boy on a Unicycle” tells the story of McCall, a 1950s teen prodigy with a particular gift for enthralling audiences with speeches about American optimism. Steven will read excerpts from the book and talk about “the story behind the story”— his father’s obsessive quest to examine the lies and truths of his youth, and Steven's own determination to bring his father’s memoir into the world.  

Spencer DeRoos is a communications assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences.

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