Creative Writing
EnglishCollege of Humanities and Social Sciences

Former Mason professor Beverly Lowry Returns to Campus As a Visiting Writer


Former Mason professor Beverly Lowry, author of the acclaimed true crime classic Crossed Over: A Murder, A Memoir, returns to campus as a visiting writer to discuss her new book, Who Killed These Girls? Cold Case: the Yogurt Shop Murders, which Kirkus Reviews called “a grisly primer on criminal justice in the byzantine American system.” Lowry’s reading and discussion of the book take place Thursday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Merten Hall, Room 1203, on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. The event is open to the public.

The facts behind the new book are brutally straightforward. On December 6, 1991, the naked, bound-and-gagged bodies of the four girls–each one shot in the head–were found in an I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! shop in Austin, Texas. Grief, shock, and horror spread out from their families and friends to overtake the city itself. Though all branches of law enforcement were brought to bear, the investigation was often misdirected and after eight years only two men (then teenagers) were tried; moreover, their subsequent convictions were eventually overturned, and Austin PD detectives are still working on what is now a very cold case. Over the decades, the story has grown to include DNA technology, false confessions, and other developments facing crime and punishment in contemporary life. But this story belongs to the scores of people involved, and from them Lowry has fashioned a riveting saga that reads like a Russian novel, comprehensive and thoroughly engrossing.

Lowry is the author of six novels and three previous works of nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in the The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Mississippi Review, Granta, and many other publications. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Additional visiting writers ahead this semester include:

  • Suzanne Buffam (poetry), Thursday, March 2
  • Laura van den Berg (fiction), Monday, April 3
  • Mike Scalise (nonfiction), Tuesday, April 4
  • Spencer Reece (poetry), Thursday, April 6
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