Author Justin Torres, Winner of Pitt’s Fred R. Brown Literary Award, to Deliver Free Public Reading Oct. 11

Issue Date: 
October 8, 2012

Fiction writer Justin Torres has received the University of Pittsburgh’s 2012 Fred R. Brown Literary Award and will come to Pitt’s campus to deliver a reading at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. This free public event is part of the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season.

Torres is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. His debut novel, We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), received national acclaim in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and O, The Oprah Magazine, which described the work as, “…a novel so honest, poetic, and tough that it makes you reexamine what it means to love and hurt.”

The novel also impressed the selection committee for Pitt’s Fred R. Brown Literary Award. “Justin Torres’ novel seduces us with insightful and beautifully written prose into the precarious lives of three brothers and their parents,” said English professor Fiona Cheong. “So much to love and think about in this precious book. He is not only a gifted writer, but a brave and absolutely essential one.” 

The Fred R. Brown Literary Award recognizes fiction writers in the early stages of their careers. The honor, established in 2007, carries a financial honorarium and is underwritten by Pitt alumni Fred R. (A&S ’71) and Melanie (CGS ’86, BUS ’90G, ’93G) Brown. Past recipients of the award have included novelist Don Lee, screenwriter Sabina Murray, and fiction writer Wells Tower. 

A native of upstate New York, Torres is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, as well as Granta, Tin House, Glimmer Train, and other notable literary publications. For We the Animals, Torres was honored with the 2012 Cabell First Novelist Award from Virginia Commonwealth University, and the book was a finalist for a 2012 Indies Choice Book Award. 

The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program and The Book Center are cosponsors of the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season. Copies of We the Animals will be available for purchase at the reading. For more information about the event, contact 412-624-6508 or visit