Acclaimed young writer to speak tonight

One of Entertainment Weekly’s funniest people in America will be speaking tonight at the Special Events Center.

Augusten Burroughs has become one of the nation’s most popular young authors, writing memoirs of his troubled childhood and his struggles defeating drug and alcohol addiction.

Burroughs, who has written four books and has a fifth due out early this summer, will be speaking about his first book, Running with Scissors: A Memoir. The book discusses how Burroughs’ mother gave him up for adoption to her psychiatrist when he was 12.

Running with Scissors spent more than 70 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List. A movie version of the book is set to debut later this year, while Burroughs’ only novel, Sellevision, has also been optioned to become a movie, according to his Web site

“I was in discussions with his agent about a year and a half ago about different speakers that she thought would be great,” said Michael Crumb, graduate adviser for the University Lecture Series.

He said that at that time, Burroughs was just emerging and his agent recommended he come to USF. Crump said now that two of Burroughs’ books are set to become movies, “Now is good timing for a speaker of his quality.”

Burroughs’ fifth book, Possible Side Effects, is set to be released on May 2.

The lecture is at 7 p.m. in the Special Events Center and is organized by the University Lecture Series and the Florida Suncoast Writers’ Conference.