Tobias WolffAward-winning American writer Tobias Wolff will receive Oregon State University’s Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement  at a special event in Portland May 21.

The biennial Stone Award recognizes a major American author who has created a body of critically-acclaimed work and has mentored young writers. Wolff is the second recipient of the honor, which was established in 2011.

The award ceremony, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum, will include an on-stage interview with Wolff about his work and the presentation of the award. A reception and book-signing will follow. Tickets are required and are available at the museum’s ticket office or online: http://bit.ly/1hJXdVh.

On May 22, Wolff will appear at a free public reading, question-and-answer session and book signing at OSU’s main campus in Corvallis. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, 725 S.W. 26th St.

Wolff, who teaches creative writing at Stanford University, is best known for his work in two genres: the short story and the memoir. His first short story collection, “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” was published in 1981. Wolff chronicled his early life in two memoirs, “In Pharaoh’s Army” (1994) and “This Boy’s Life” (1989), which was turned into a 1993 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

“Tobias Wolff is a master storyteller – generous, compassionate, keenly observant,” said Keith Scribner, a professor of English and creative writing at OSU. Scribner became friends with Wolff while he was teaching at Stanford. 

“When we read his novels, memoirs, and short stories, we come away richer for the experience in part because we know ourselves better,” Scribner said. “He is one of our nation’s preeminent writers and has mentored countless students who’ve had the good fortune to work with him.”

The Stone Award was established by Patrick and Vicki Stone to spotlight OSU’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, which is in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The honorarium for the award is $20,000, making it one of the most substantial awards for lifetime literary achievement offered by any university in the country. The first honoree was Joyce Carol Oates in 2012.