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Reading was so important to Marcel Proust that it sometimes seems he was unable to create a personage without a book in hand. Everybody in his work reads: servants and masters, children and parents, artists and physicians. The more sophisticated characters find it natural to speak in quotations. …
Reading was so important to Marcel Proust that it sometimes seems he was unable to create a personage without a book in hand. Everybody in his work reads: servants and masters, children and parents, artists and physicians. The more sophisticated characters find it natural to speak in quotations. Proust made literary taste a means of defining personalities and gave literature an actual role to play in his novels.
In this wonderfully entertaining book, scholar and biographer Anka Muhlstein, the author of Balzac’s Omelette, draws out these themes in Proust's work and life, thus providing not only a friendly introduction to the momentous In Search of Lost Time, but also exciting highlights of some of the finest work in French literature.
Award-winning fiction author Roxana Robinson, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel will come together to discuss their latest books, Sparta (Robinson) and Thank You For Your Service (Finkel), both of which deal with the ramifications of the Iraq War. About Sparta: The transition from…
Award-winning fiction author Roxana Robinson, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel will come together to discuss their latest books, Sparta (Robinson) and Thank You For Your Service (Finkel), both of which deal with the ramifications of the Iraq War.
The transition from peace to war can make a young man into a warrior. The transition from war to peace can destroy him.
Conrad Farrell has no family military heritage, but as a classics major at Williams College, he encountered the powerful appeal of the Marine ethic: “Semper fidelis” came straight from the ancient world, from Sparta, where every citizen doubled as a full-time soldier. When Conrad graduated he joined the Marines, to continue a long tradition of honor, courage, and commitment. When Roxana Robinson’s new novel, Sparta, begins, Conrad has just returned home to Westchester after four years in Iraq, and he’s beginning to learn that something has changed in his landscape. Something has gone wrong, though things should be fine: He hasn’t been shot or wounded, he’s never had psychological troubles. But as he attempts to reconnect with his family and girlfriend, and to find his footing in the civilian world, he learns how difficult it is to return to the people and places he used to love. His life becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate: he can’t imagine his future, can’t recover his past, and can’t bring himself to occupy his present. As weeks turn into months, Conrad feels himself trapped in a life that’s constrictive and incomprehensible, and he fears that his growing rage will have irreparable consequences. Suspenseful, compassionate and perceptive, Sparta captures the nuances of the unique estrangement that modern soldiers face as they attempt to rejoin the society they’ve fought for.
Roxana Robinson is the author of nine books, most recently of the novel, Sparta. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. She has been named a Literary Lion by the NYPL, four of her books have been chosen as New York Times Notables, and her novel, “Cost,” received the Maine Publishers and Writers Fiction Award. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.
About Thank You For Your Service
From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war.
The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16 at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done. The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?
David Finkel is a journalist and author whose most recent book, the critically acclaimed Thank You For Your Service, chronicles the challenges faced by American soldiers and their families in the aftermath of war. His previous book, The Good Soldiers, was the bestselling account of the U.S. “surge” during the Iraq War and a New York Times Best Book of the Year. An editor and writer for The Washington Post, Finkel has reported from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and across the United States, and has covered wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Among Finkel’s honors are a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2012. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
The famous jazz critic Stanley Crouch, author of the new biography Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker will talk with novelist Tom Piazza, who may be best known to Center for Fiction audiences as author of the novel City Of Refuge, which won the Willie Morris Award for Southern…
The famous jazz critic Stanley Crouch, author of the new biography Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker will talk with novelist Tom Piazza, who may be best known to Center for Fiction audiences as author of the novel City Of Refuge, which won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, and as a writer for the HBO series Treme. Piazza is also a Grammy Award-winning music journalist who has written widely on jazz, blues, and country music for the New York Times, the Oxford American, and many other publications.
About Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker
The groundbreaking Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is the first in a projected two-volume life of Charlie Parker by one of our foremost writers on jazz and the cultural experience in America, Stanley Crouch. The product of decades of research, including exclusive interviews with peers, collaborators, and family members, KANSAS CITY LIGHTNING reaches back past the legend to reveal Charlie Parker as he emerged from the landscapes—literal and artistic—that he inhabited. It follows Parker from the “freak shows” and “spook breakfasts” of late-night Kansas City, to the segregated union halls of Chicago, and finally to the Harlem ballrooms of New York City. With the musical wisdom of a lifetime jazz scholar, the cultural insights of an indispensable social critic, and the narrative skill of a writer at the height of his powers, Crouch brings Parker back to rich, vivid life—and delivers a book that goes beyond mere biography to become a major cultural event, as rich and evocative as a great novel.
A winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Award, Stanley Crouch has been writing about jazz music and the African American experience for more than forty years. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award, for his essay collections Notes of a Hanging Judge (1990) and The All-American Skin Game (1995). His other books include Always in Pursuit (1998), The Artificial White Man (2004), and the novel Don’t the Moon Look Lonesome (2000). He has served, off and on, since 1987 as artistic consultant for jazz programming at Lincoln Center and is a founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is also executive vice president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. He has appeared in the Ken Burns documentary Jazz and has appeared as a guest on many radio and television shows. he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a regular columnist for the New York Daily News.
Tom Piazza is the author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels City Of Refuge, which won the Willie Morris Award, and My Cold War, the post-Katrina manifesto Why New Orleans Matters, and the essay collection Devil Sent The Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America. He was a principal writer for the HBO drama series TREME, and he is currently at work on a new novel. A well-known writer on American music as well, he won a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey, and he is a three-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Music Writing. He lives in New Orleans.-