Kenneth Womack (born January 24, 1966) is an American writer, literary critic, public speaker, and authority on the cultural influence of The Beatles.
Kenneth Womack was born in Houston, Texas, United States, and is Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, where he also serves as Professor of English. He is the author of four novels, as well as the author and editor of numerous volumes of literary and cultural criticism.
Womack is the author of the award-winning novel John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel (2010), which offers an alternative back-story for the Oklahoma City Bombing through the eyes of John Doe No. 2, the elusive mystery man who was originally identified by the FBI as a participant in the attack. In the novel, John Doe No. 2 spends more than a year in the company of Timothy McVeigh as he plots his calamitous act of domestic terrorism. John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel was the Bronze Award Winner in the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award competition, as well as a Semi-Finalist for the James Branch Cabell First Novelist Award. Womack's second novel, The Restaurant at the End of the World, provides a fictive re-creation of the last hours in the lives of the staff and visitors to the Windows on the World restaurant complex atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center. In 2013, The Restaurant at the End of the World earned the gold medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Regional Fiction (Mid-Atlantic). The novel was also a finalist in the 2013 Indie Book Awards and the 2013 Montaigne Medal competition. His third novel, Playing the Angel, was published in August 2013.
In addition to his work as novelist, Womack is the author and editor of several books devoted to the Beatles, including Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four (2006; with Todd F. Davis), Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), which was named by The Independent as the 2009 Music Book of the Year, and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014) and its revised paperback edition (2016). In 2017 he released the first volume in his full-length biography of Beatles producer Sir George Martin, Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years: 1926-1966), and the second volume, Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Later Years: 1966-2016), in 2018. Womack writes a regular column on the Beatles for CultureSonar entitled Everything Fab Four. His work has appeared in Salon, Slate, Billboard, Time, Variety, The Guardian, USA Today, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
As literary critic, Womack is the author and editor of several books related to ethical criticism and postmodern humanism, including Postwar Academic Fiction: Satire, Ethics, Community (2001), Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory (2001; with Todd F. Davis), and Postmodern Humanism in Contemporary Literature and Culture: Reconciling the Void (2006; with Todd F. Davis). Womack's four-volume Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading (2008) was honored in 2009 by the American Library Association with the Outstanding Reference Sources Award.
In addition to serving as founding editor of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory, Womack is co-editor of the celebrated Year's Work in English Studies, published annually by Oxford University Press. His work as teacher and writer has earned numerous awards over the years, including Penn State University's Alumni Teaching Fellow Award (2006) and the Kjell Meling Award for Distinction in the Arts and Humanities (2010). In 2013, he was selected to serve as the sixth Penn State University Laureate.
Womack earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in English from Northern Illinois University. He lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, with his wife Jeanine. Womack's brother Andrew is co-founder of the online magazine The Morning News.
Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2001.