Author John Minichillo to read at Penn State Behrend

Even our most classic stories can benefit from a facelift. John Minichillo proves that.

Minichillo’s novel, “The Snow Whale,” is a comedic, contemporary retelling of “Moby Dick.” It still features the various metaphors for life that made “Moby Dick” a classic, but there’s a twist.

“In this wonderfully inventive debut novel from John Minichillo, a chance DNA test reveals to John Jacobs that he is in fact 37 percent Inuit. So begins the humorous, occasionally hilarious exploits of a man in search of genuine experience (which by his newly acquired tribal rights comes in the form of an Alaskan whale hunt),” Publisher’s Weekly wrote in a 2011 review.

Minichillo will read from “The Snow Whale” when the Creative Writers Reading Series resumes at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Oct. 9. His 6 p.m. reading and the reception that will precede it are free and open to the public. Both events will be held in the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel.

Minichillo is the recipient of a fiscal 2012 Tennessee Artists Grant, and his short fiction has appeared widely in literary magazines on the Web. He lives in Tennessee and teaches writing at Middle Tennessee State University. He is also one of the founders of the Nashville Fiction Workshop.

The Creative Writers Reading Series is produced by Penn State Behrend’s bachelor of fine arts in creative writing degree program with support from the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund. For additional information, call 814-898-6108 or visit

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Last Updated January 09, 2015