April 11, 1964: Writer Pinckney Benedict Born in Lewisburg

Hollins University

Writer Pinckney Benedict was born in Lewisburg on April 11, 1964, and grew up on his family’s dairy farm. After graduating from Princeton University and the University of Iowa, he published his first two collections of short stories, Town Smokes and The Wrecking Yard, and the novel Dogs of God. The New York Times Book Review named all three to its Notable Books list. In 2010, after taking 14 years off from publishing, he released a new collection of short stories entitled Miracle Boy.

Benedict has received numerous honors, including Britain’s Steinbeck Award, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and the Henfield Foundation’s Transatlantic Review Awards.

His plays have received staged readings and performances at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg. And several of his short stories have been adapted for short films and television. He wrote a feature-length screenplay for the novel Four Days by John Buell. The film premiered at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival. He also adapted a screenplay of his own work, Dogs of God.

Pinckney Benedict is currently an English professor at Southern Illinois University.