Alissa Nutting, author of the controversial satirical novel “Tampa,” will visit Tennessee Tech to read selections from two of her books Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Backdoor Playhouse.
Nutting's 2013 novel, "Tampa," about a middle school teacher who seduces her students, received acclaim for its satirical look at gender expectations and was met with controversy for its sexually explicit content. The fictional best-seller was inspired by Debra Lafave, a middle school teacher who pleaded guilty to lewd or lascivious battery after having sex with a 14-year-old student in 2005. Lafave was a high school classmate of Nutting, which brought Nutting’s attention to the issue more closely.
“She has more presence than any contemporary writer her age,” said English chairman Ted Pelton. “She’s a smart and witty writer and it was a no-brainer for me to bring her to Tennessee Tech.”
“Tampa” received criticism for its explicit sex scenes and was even banned from some bookstores in Australia. Despite the controversy following the novel, it has received praise from reviewers at “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post” and “The Guardian” and went on to be a 2013 best-seller in 2013.
Nutting's first short story collection, “Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls" was published in 2010 and went on to receive the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction.
Nutting currently lives in Ohio and is an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University. Nutting’s readings will take place at Tech’s Backdoor Playhouse in the Jere Whitson Memorial Building. The event will be free and open to the public.