Novelist Hansen to Speak at Reading Series

Novelist Ron Hansen

Novelist Ron Hansen

Novelist Ron Hansen, author of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” helps launch the Westmont Reading Series on Wednesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in Fleischmann Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Westmont Reading Series will annually present writers of national reputation to the Santa Barbara community,” says Paul Willis, Westmont English professor and Santa Barbara poet laureate. “We are pleased to inaugurate our series with Ron Hansen, one of the most versatile and remarkable contemporary writers of fiction. His prose is image-rich and spot-on, and he traverses a wide range of subject matters, from Jesse James to Victorian nuns, plumbing both our depravity and our spiritual depths.”

Hansen has written many other novels, including, “Mariette in Ecstasy,” “Atticus,” “Hitler’s Niece,” “Isn't It Romantic?” “Exiles,” “A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion” and most recently, “She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories.”

Hansen, a graduate of Creighton University, served in the military before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1974 and a Master of Arts in Spirituality from Santa Clara University. He earned a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship at Stanford University and fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim, Lyndhurst and Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundations.

Hansen teaches courses in writing and literature at Santa Clara University, where he is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. professor in the arts and humanities.

For more information, please contact Paul Willis at (805) 565-7174 or


  1. Tommy Norman says:

    Paul Willis, Hansen’s “Mariette,” is not a novel of Victorian nuns, as the book unfolds from 1906 on, and in Upper New York State. Hardly the province of Victoria.


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