Wilton Barnhardt

Wilton Barnhardt

The United States


Wilton Barnhardt (born 1960) is a former reporter for Sports Illustrated and is the author of Emma Who Saved My Life (1989), Gospel (1993), Show World (1999), and the New York Times bestseller Lookaway, Lookaway (2013). Barnhardt took his B.A. at Michigan State University, and was a graduate student at Brasenose College, University of Oxford, where he read for an M.Phil. in English.

He currently teaches fiction-writing to undergraduate and graduate students at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, in the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing.


Wilton Barnhardt isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but he does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from his feed.

I’m being asked quite a bit about my research for Lookaway, Lookaway, and I can report that I truly did squeeze my bulk into some outgrown formal wear for the N.C. Debutantes’ Ball, that I immensely enjoyed socializing with sutlers (traders, 19th Century-style), during a Civil War re-enactment, and that, yes, I took a notepad along with me during Rush Week at Chapel Hill, where I ambled past al...

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Published on August 02, 2013 11:37 • 301 views
Average rating: 3.4 · 3,954 ratings · 725 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
Lookaway, Lookaway

3.18 avg rating — 2,878 ratings — published 2013 — 10 editions
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4.32 avg rating — 507 ratings — published 1993
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Emma Who Saved My Life

3.73 avg rating — 447 ratings — published 1989
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Show World

3.29 avg rating — 86 ratings — published 1998 — 6 editions
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27 Views of Raleigh: The Ci...

3.58 avg rating — 36 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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“Southerners. Such literate, civilized folk, such charm and cleverness and passion for living, such genuine interest in people, all people, high and low, white and black, and yet how often it had come to, came to, was still coming to vicious incomprehension, usually over race but other things too - religion, class, money. How often the lowest elements had burst out of the shadows and hollers, guns and torches blazing, galloping past the educated and tolerant as nightriders, how often the despicable had run riot over the better Christian ideals... how often cities had burned, people had been strung up in trees, atrocities had been permitted to occur and then, in the seeking of justice for those outrages, how slippery justice had proven, how delayed its triumph. Oh you expect such easily obtained violence in the Balkans or among Asian or African tribal peoples centuries-deep in blood feuds, but how was there such brutality and wickedness in this place of church and good intention, a place of immense friendliness and charity and fondness for the rituals of family and socializing, amid the nation's best cooking and best music... how could one place contain the other place?”
Wilton Barnhardt, Lookaway, Lookaway

“And I'm leaving you that plant," he lamented. "You are good with plants, aren't you?"
Great, I lied. (I could make the Congo wither and die...)”
Wilton Barnhardt, Emma Who Saved My Life

“Emma, you and your poetry, me and my acting--what are we trying to do? We can't top this city. We poor would-be artists can't compete with or improve on the rich density of human experience on any random, average, slow summer night in New York--who are we trying to kid? In the overheard conversation in the elevator, in the five minutes of talk the panhandler gives you before hitting you for the handout, in the brief give-and-take when you are going out and the cleaning lady is coming in--there are the real stories, incredible, heartbreaking and ridiculous, there are the command performances, the Great American Novels but forever unwritten, untoppable, and so beautifully unaware.”
Wilton Barnhardt, Emma Who Saved My Life

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