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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Randall Kenan

Raised in a rural community in North Carolina, Randall Kenan’s work explores what it means to be black and gay in the South. His hometown of Chinquapin became the fictional Tims Creek, the setting of many of his stories. At Carolina, he studied writing with Doris Betts and Max Steele, graduating in 1985 with a B.A. in English. His second book, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead (1992), a collection of short stories, received critical acclaim as a new classic in southern literature. Like other Chapel Hill writers before him, Kenan uses the folklore of his North Carolina childhood to tell stories about sexual repression, religious hypocrisy, and interracial romances. Kenan now teaches writing at Carolina.