NYS Writers Institute fall 2011

nys writers institute book covers 2011 fall

Perrotta, Kennedy, Whitehead and a whole bunch of others.

The fall lineup for the New York State Writers Institute's visiting writers series is out. And, as usual, it's jammed with events that look interesting.

A handful of the dates that caught our eye -- including William Kennedy reading from his new book, Sylvia Nasar, Dava Sobel, and Tom Perrotta -- after the jump.

all descriptions from the Writers Institute site

Nicole Krauss, novelist
September 22
Nicole Krauss, prize-winning novelist, is the author most recently of Great House (2010), a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction. The novel is composed of interlinked tales about a massive writing desk and its various owners as they cope with tragedies and upheavals. The NPR reviewer called it "Masterful... a brilliantly orchestrated, mesmerizing whole that explores memory, solitude and an aching sense of loss and longing." Krauss's previous novels include the New York Times bestseller, The History of Love (2005), and Man Walks into a Room (2002), a finalist for the L. A. Times First Fiction Prize.

Eliza Griswold, journalist
September 27
Eliza Griswold, journalist, is the author of the New York Times nonfiction bestseller, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (2010), an exploration of diverse societies that exist along the line of latitude where the two religions collide. In praise, Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, "Griswold's courageous pilgrimage changes the way we think about Christianity and Islam.... She returns us to the most basic truth of human existence: that the world and its people are interconnected." Griswold has covered cultural and military conflicts throughout Africa and Asia.

William Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
October 3
William Kennedy, founder and executive director of the New York State Writers Institute, is the author of the new novel, Changó's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes (October 2011). A tale of revolutionary intrigue, heroic journalism, crooked politicians, drug-running gangsters, Albany race riots, and the improbable rise of Fidel Castro, the novel follows the epic adventures of Albany journalist Daniel Quinn and his unpredictable Cuban wife Renata, during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s. Kennedy received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 for the novel Ironweed. His most recent novel was Roscoe (2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Ian Frazier, humorist and nonfiction writer
October 5
Ian Frazier, is a leading American humorist, travel author, and staff writer for the New Yorker. Frazier has published two highly-praised and funny travelogues: Great Plains (1989), about his explorations of the American Midwest; and Travels in Siberia (2010), a current bestseller about Russia's "Wild East." The New York Times reviewer called the Siberia book, "an uproarious, sometimes dark yarn filled with dubious meals, broken-down vehicles, abandoned slave labor camps ... and ubiquitous statues of Lenin...." Frazier's other recent books include Lamentations of the Father (2008) and Gone to New York (2005).

Sylvia Nasar, journalist and nonfiction writer
October 11
Sylvia Nasar, journalist and author, achieved international acclaim for A Beautiful Mind (1994), a biography of Nobel Prize-winning economist John Forbes Nash. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer finalist, the book was made into a 2001 film that received four Oscars including Best Picture. Nasar's newest book is Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (2011), a sweeping history of the invention of modern economics. [AOA adds: Tyler Cowen already has it on pre-order.] A New York Times economics correspondent from 1991 to 1999, she currently holds the Knight Chair in Business Journalism at Columbia University.

Wayne Koestenbaum, poet and cultural critic
October 20
Wayne Koestenbaum, poet and critic, is the author most recently of Humiliation (2011), a philosophical meditation on the nature and meaning of personal embarrassment. In advance praise, filmmaker John Waters called it, "the funniest, smartest, most heartbreaking yet powerful book I've read in a long time." A recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, Koestenbaum also wrote the surprise bestseller, The Queen's Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (1993), a critical inquiry into the affinity of gay men for opera. A New York Times Notable Book, The Queen's Throat was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poetry collections include Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films (2006), and Model Homes (2004). He is also the author of a critical study of the popular image of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Jackie Under My Skin (1995), and the opera Jackie O (1995).

Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and memoirist
October 25
Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, is the author of the new memoir, My Dyslexia (2011), a first-hand exploration of the mind's ability to triumph over its own disabilities. Unable to read until the age of 11, Schultz avoided a medical explanation of his difficulties until his oldest son was diagnosed with the same condition. The author of seven books of poetry, Schultz received the Pulitzer Prize for Failure (2007), a collection that investigates the many varieties of failure, both personal and artistic. In praise, poet Tony Hoagland called Schultz, "one of the least affected of American poets, and one of the fiercest." His other collections include The God of Loneliness (2010) and Living in the Past (2004).

Colson Whitehead, fiction writer
November 1
Colson Whitehead, prize-winning fiction writer, is the author most recently of Zone One (2011), a post-apocalyptic zombie horror novel set in Manhattan. Publishers Weekly praised the book as a "...smart, funny, pop culture-filled tale...with a fresh take on disasters both natural and not that keep a stranglehold on our fears and dreams." Winner of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Whiting Writers' Award, Whitehead is also the author of Sag Harbor (2009), a tale set in a wealthy Black summer community on Long Island; Apex Hides the Hurt (2006), a satirical novel about marketing to Black consumers; The Colossus of New York (2003), a collection of lyrical essays about New York City; and John Henry Days (2001), winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award.

Dava Sobel, science writer
November 10
Dava Sobel, bestselling science writer, is the author most recently of A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos (2011), the story of the reclusive Polish Catholic priest (1473-1543) whose scientific observations changed mankind's view of the Universe. The Library Journal reviewer said, "Sobel has the knowledge and writerly grace to explain what Copernicus accomplished.... A book on science and personality that should intrigue us all." Embedded in the new book is Sobel's play about Copernicus, "And the Sun Stood Still," which was presented as a staged reading by the Writers Institute in April 2008. Previous internationally bestselling books by Sobel include The Planets (2005), Galileo's Daughter (1999), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award; and Longitude (1995), winner of the British Book of the Year Award.

Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
November 15
Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (2010), a sweeping history of the movement of Blacks from the former slave states to the cities of the industrial North during the first half of the twentieth century. Writing in the New Yorker, Jill Lepore called it, "[A] deeply affecting, finely crafted and heroic book." It received the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. In 1994, Wilkerson became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for journalism for her 1993 coverage of floods in the Midwest.

Tom Perrotta, novelist
November 29
Tom Perrotta is the author of masterpieces of satirical fiction set in the American suburbs. His new novel is The Leftovers (2011), the story of ordinary suburbanites who are forced to cope when they are left behind after "the Rapture," the New Testament apocalypse. The Kirkus reviewer called it Perrotta's "most ambitious book to date...," and said, "The premise is as simple as it is startling." [AOA adds: recent NYT review by Stephen King.] His previous novels include The Abstinence Teacher (2007), and two that were adapted as major motion pictures, Little Children (2004) and Election (1998).

And that's not even all the Pulitzer winners. Have a look at the full schedule.

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