The Audiograph series broadcasts digital audio about the people, publications,
and events of Writing at The New School.
Geoff Dyer visited The New School yesterday to speak more about his works of fiction and nonfiction. "Nothing else cheers me or moves me more the way Geoff's writing does," said moderator Brenda Wineapple by way of introduction.
"All the best essays are a form of travel," said Dyer. "This could be a form of intellectual travel. It can be a journey of curiosity and ignorance and into a form of knowledge. To me, essays that start with a tone of the writer already knowing it all aren't as interesting as essays where the writer starts off not knowing, but by the end of the essay, learns so much."
Dyer related that this was his experience for his nonfiction work on jazz. He did not initially know much about the subject, and was often questioned as to his journalistic authority. "I had no credentials, except that I liked listening to it. If you want to learn about a subject, there's nothing like writing a book on it to get you up to speed."
Dyer is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and, most recently, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; two collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and five genre-defying titles: But Beautiful,The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It and The Ongoing Moment.
A collection of essays from the last twenty years entitled Otherwise Known as the Human Condition was published in the US in April 2011 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
His most recent book is Zona, about Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker(published in the UK and the US in Spring 2012).
Moderated by Brenda Wineapple.
It's been ten years since New School alum, Alysia Abbott, walked these halls as a MFA Nonfiction student. She debuts her memoir, Fairyland, which saw its early beginnings right here in nonfiction workshops. Honor Moore, her former workshop teacher, moderated a discussion about her book, and her coming-home to The New School.
When asked why it took ten years to finish this memoir, Alysia said, “As you mature, you begin to see how the world impacts other people and not just yourself. I saw how the AIDS epidemic that took my father’s life affected all these different people and not just me. Time gave me a better, more rounded perspective on my father and our story.”
Upon her father’s death, Alysia discovered several journals, notebooks, diary entries and letters left behind by her father. These materials helped her shape and develop her story. But how did she interact with these materials and did it affect how she read personal details about his life that she had no idea about as a girl?
“I loved writing this book because being with his materials felt so intimate. I felt I was sharing these intimate moments of his life with him; moments of unrequited love, passions, and failures. I discovered a very different side of my father in his letters. They humanized him and I was glad to know him beyond our relationship. I saw him not only as my father but also as a man, struggling to write and find love as a single father.”
“I’d settle into the dark stacks of Harvard's Widener Library and read bound copies of Newsweek that covered the early days of the AIDS crisis. There's something so special about reading the magazine instead of getting an article online. Flipping through advertisements and articles, I could enter the culture of the moment and travel through time. I also interviewed my father’s friends, and ex-lovers. Then I’d piece together their stories with mine.”
“Since this was my telling of our relationship, it was very important for me to capture the sights and sounds of the San Francisco I knew growing up. The city is very different from the one we moved to in 1974 and even the one I left in 1994. Haight Street is completely changed. So I’d close my eyes in order to capture the exact smell of the eucalyptus trees, or the sound of the Muni buses struggling up the hill, and then record my impressions using my iPhone voice memo. These were details I could never get in Cambridge, where I live.”
Words of wisdom?
“Always remember the story you are writing. And ask yourself, 'Does this detail or anecdote serve the story I'm trying to tell?' I had to remind myself that anything I had to cut out could always be used in another work."
Alysia Abbott grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the only child of gay poet and writer, Steve Abbott. After receiving her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from New School University, she hasworked as a producer at WNYC and written articles and essays for Real Simple, Vogue, Marie Claire, Slate, Salon, TheAtlantic.com, Psychology Today, and Time Out NY, among other publications. In 2009, she left NYC to attend Harvard University as a Nieman Affiliate. While there, Alysia began work on Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father. Her first full-length book, Fairyland was completed with the help of a Ragdale Fellowship and the wonderful staff at W.W. Norton. Alysia currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, the writer Jeff Howe, and their two children.
Nonfiction MFA alum Alysia Abbott was recently interviewed by Riggio alum Ted Kerr for the Lambda Literary organization about her memoir, Fairlyand: A Memoir of My Father. The interview covers Abbott's feelings regarding "weirdness" or otherness and the responsibilities of parenthood, the impact of letter writing on her life, and how she approached writing a memoir about her father.
Here are some excerpts:
I can’t say I was writing beautiful letters as a child. They were dashed off, they were playful. There was one that says, “I love you more than Reagan loves to lie.” Silly little things that were between us. I am not sure it influenced me as a writer; I think it influenced my relationship with him. It was intimate. He was my friend. It was always something great that happened to me and I want to share it with him, or I am really anguished about this relationship and maybe he can give me advice.
He died 20 years ago last December. Almost immediately after he died I took the letters and I put them in chronological order. Reading them with my friends made me feel that I was with him. His letters are filled so much with his voice. There were so many great stories and scenes I was overwhelmed, and then I discovered his journal. It was almost too much for me to process. Eventually I tried to write about him. I published two essays in anthologies around 2000, and then I pursued an MFA and used the material, quoting them, never knowing how it was all going to fit together. The feedback I was getting was people could not see the arc of the story. I needed some distance. I had a hard time seeing myself as a character, which was a problem because the best stories are those in which characters go through some change. I had no distance on myself so I could not see how I changed through the course of my life with my dad. I was just the girl who this all happened to.
A lot of the book is about me feeling closeted about my father’s sexuality. In the straight community I did not have the bravery to come out about him because I didn’t know how they would react to me. Now I am very much out. Growing up I wanted to have a life separate from my father but I also recognized how much he defined me and how living with him, and the culture I lived in, was a gift. I had to come to terms with my past to share his story, and not just paint a smiley face on it and say he was a perfect gay dad like all the straight dads except that he was gay. The book ends when my father dies so that change only manifests itself in how I write it, meaning, I could comment on myself in the book, I could be aware that I was a difficult teenager to live with, or when my father was sick I had a hard time tuning into his needs. I did not have the maturity to stop and ask; Okay what is happening to him? I could only see from a distance of 15, 20 years that I was struggling to be my better self. So it wasn’t just that I changed during the course of my life with my father. I feel like I changed from the person that held my father’s hand when he took his last breath.
For more of the interview visit Lambda Literary's website.
Alysia Abbott's memoir, Fairyland, is currently available to order online or at your favorite bookstore.
Alysia Abbott grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the only child of gay poet and writer, Steve Abbott. After graduating from New York University, she worked at the New York Public Library before receiving her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from New School University. For the last ten years she’s worked as a producer at WNYC and written articles and essays for Real Simple, Salon, TheAtlantic.com, Time Out NY, andBabble, among other publications. In 2009 she attended Harvard University as a Nieman Affiliate. While there, Alysia began work on Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father. Her first full-length book, Fairyland was completed with the help of a Ragdale Fellowship and the wonderful staff at W.W. Norton. You can follow her on Twitter @AlysiaAbbott.
Ted Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer and visual artist. In 2013 he graduated from The New School's Riggio Honors Program. Kerr was an artist in residence at Union Theological Seminary's Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice where AA Bronson is the Artistic Director. He has written for XTRA.ca, and Prairieartsters
Alysia Abbott, a 2003 MFA alum, has published a striking memoir about growing up in the "post-hippie" Haight of San Francisco. Fairyland, navigates the complexities of her relationship with her widowed father, the poet Steve Abbott, and a landscape that brought them together and kept them apart. Written two decades after her father's tragic death, Fairyland is a gripping and honest incantation of Abbott's childhood and the emotional climate of San Francisco in the 70's.
"A vivid, sensitively written account of a complex but always loving relationship. This is not only a painfully honest autobiography but also a tribute to old-fashioned bohemian values in a world that is increasingly conformist and materialistic. I couldn't put it down!" — Edmund White
"Colored with quirky, picturesque details of Bay Area counter culture, in-cluding its famous cafes, personalities, and periodicals, Abbott's narrative balances idiosyncratic flourishes with universal emotions of anger, resentment, jealousy, and guilt. Decades after the fact, it is clear she continues to struggle with her failures as daughter and caregiver. Yet, her fragile resolution is more honest than a tidy, suggesting that the most "outlandish" parts of our stories—our own inade-quacies—prove difficult to fully accept." — Publisher's Weekly
"In Alysia Abbott’s gorgeous account of her 1980s San Francisco childhood, a whimsical gay poet becomes an intelligent father, his motherless daughter a forceful and articulate young woman, and a rich, dizzy fairyland is shuttered by a plague. As a chronicle of the moment when the San Francisco of Armistad Maupin became the city of Harvey Milk, when gay and experimental poetry flourished in California, Fairyland is vivid and indelible. As the portrait of a conspiracy of love between a father and a daughter, it is heartrending, a brilliant addition to the literature of American memoir." — Honor Moore
Alysia Abbott grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the only child of gay poet and writer, Steve Abbott. After graduating from New York University, she worked at the New York Public Library before receiving her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from New School University. For the last ten years she's worked as a producer at WNYC and written articles and essays for Real Simple, Salon, TheAtlantic.com, Time Out NY, andBabble, among other publications. In 2009 she attended Harvard University as a Nieman Affiliate. While there, Alysia began work on Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father. Her first full-length book, Fairyland was completed with the help of a Ragdale Fellowship and the wonderful staff at W.W. Norton. You can follow her on Twitter @AlysiaAbbott.
The School of Writing is happy to be hosting three days of events of the annual PEN World Voices Festival this weekend. This year's festival revolves around courageous art and literature and the individuals who fight to make it:
Writers from across the globe convene in New York to explore bravery in art, politics and personal life. This year's Festival will examine writers' impact on political transformations in recent global hot spots such as Burma, Palestine, South Africa, Haiti, and Guantanamo Bay—as well as honor those small acts of bravery displayed in everyday life.
Join us at The New School for the following forums and readings by celebrated and courageous authors and critics.
Note: All events at The New School will be held at Tishman Auditorium (66 West 12th St) unless otherwise indicated. Tickets are available to be purchased at the door, by visiting www.worldvoicesfestival.org, or by calling (866) 811-4111.
Since her first collection of stories, At the Bottom of the River, Jamaica Kincaid has been a leading chronicler of Caribbean culture and tradition. Join us for this frank discussion between two writers who reveal the disparity between the way the world is and the way it could be.
Acclaimed poet and author of the novel Push, Sapphire is a relentless advocate for change. Don’t miss this engaging dialogue between two writers of formidable talent.
The Testament of Mary: A Discussion on the Broadway Show
Tishman Auditorium, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
FREE, no tickets required
Award-winning actress Fiona Shaw, writer Colm Toibin, and director Deborah Warner discuss the process of bringing The Testament of Mary, Toibin’s adaptation of his 2012 novella, to the Broadway stage. Mary tells her own story in the inventive and controversial new work, and thus, writes a new testament of Christ.
At dinner parties, on editorial pages, from academic lecterns, and in myriad other forums, the impact of digital age on publishing had been widely discussed. Now, a panel of industry heavy-hitters will take the conversation to the next level; by discussing the discussion itself. Are the right topics being addressed? Where is the conversation headed? With Chris Hughes, Bhaskar Sunkara, Robert Silvers, and Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Moderated by Suzanna Nossell.
In this candid dialogue, essayist Fran Lebowitz will weigh in on bravery in art. Timelessy hip, sardonic, and New-York-to-the-marrow, Lebowitz was recently the subject of Public Speaking, a documentary film by Martin Scorsese.
All That’s Left to You: Palestinian Writers in Conversation
Tishman Auditorium, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
$25/$20 PEN/USA Members and students will valid ID.
For the first time in the Festival’s history, PEN brings together a panel of leading Palestinian writers to take their place in the global literary community. From Palestine and form the diaspora, they will share their work, experiences, and visions, revealing how a literature is both imagined and created under occupation, siege, and exile. Co-sponsored by The New School, ArteEast, The Lannan Foundation, and the Open Society
Master/Class: Eduardo Galeano with Jessica Hagedorn
Tishman Auditorium, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
$20/$15 PEN/USA Members and students will valid ID.
Celebrated Uruguayan storyteller and chronicler of history’s forgotten, Eduardo Galeano, talks about the intersection of literature and politics can become the poetic and where poetry is unafraid of politics.
In 1947, a distinguished Hungarian art movement called the European School initiated a project called the Invisible Symposium. Artists from a variety of disciplines—including writers, visual artists, philosophers, and editors—were all asked the same set of questions. Their answers were collected and published. The 2013 PEN World Voices Festival mounts its own Invisible Symposium, with a focus on the current state of democracy. Why is it ailing? What challenges will it face in the years to come? Actors will portray the participating intellectuals in a staged exchange of ideas, conveying an engaging and entertaining virtual dialogue among the world’s most important thinkers. In collaboration with Jacobin. Emceed and Hosted by Brooke Gladstone.
The School of Writing is proud to present a panel of notable writers reading fiction and nonfiction on Friday, April 19th. The panel, as part of the Food & Immigrant Life Conference, places issues of immigration and food in the context of a broader social justice agenda and explores the central role food plays in expressing cultural heritage. Luis Jaramillo will moderate panelists Von Diaz, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Monique Truong, and Tiphanie Yanique. For more information, visit our website.
Von Diaz is a multimedia journalist and oral historian based in New York City. Her reporting and research focuses on immigration, Latino culture, Cuba, and LGBT issues. She currently works as the Marketing & Communications Manager at El Museo del Barrio in New York City. She was born in Puerto Rico and holds a dual M.A. in Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University, and a B.A. in Women's Studies from Agnes Scott College. Her work has been published by PRI’s The World, Latino USA, WNYC, and New American Media. She is a journalist for Feet in 2 Worlds, a program of the Center for NYC Affairs at The New School.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee is a fiction and nonfiction writer. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Witness, FiveChap
Monique Truong is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York who was born in Saigon, South Vietnam, in 1968. Her first novel was The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin, 2003)—a national bestseller and the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, a PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles National Literary Award, an Association for Asian American Studies Poetry/Prose Award, and a Seventh Annual Asian American Literary Award. In 2003, The Book of Salt was also honored as a New York Times Notable Fiction Book, a Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction Book, and one of the Miami Herald‘s Top 10 Books. Her second novel, Bitter in the Mouth (Random House, 2010), is the inaugural selection of the Ladies’ Home Journal Book Club and received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a 25 Best Fiction Books of 2010 by Barnes & Noble, a 10 Best Fiction Books of 2010 by Hudson Booksellers, and the adult fiction Honor Book by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association. Truong is also a contributing co-editor of Watermark: An Anthology of Vietnamese American Poetry & Prose (Asian American Writers' Workshop, 1998).
Tiphanie Yanique is an Assistant Professor in the MFA School of Writing at The New School for Public Engagement and is author of How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf Press, 2010). Yanique’s writing has won the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet's Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and by the National Book Foundation as one of the 2010 5 Under 35, a list announcing the next generation of fiction writers.
Luis Jaramillo is the Associate Chair of the Writing Program at the New School, where he oversees the undergraduate curriculum and the Riggio Honors Program: Writing and Democracy and teaches courses in fiction and nonfiction, and is co-editor of the journal The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food. His first book, The Doctor's Wife, won the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Contest, was an Oprah Book of the Week, and was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2012.
Author and performer Josh Garrett-Davis visited The New School to discuss his new book Ghost Dances. He not only read from the book, but played acoustic guitar to accompany the reading, transporting listeners from The New School in New York City to "the haunted landscape of the plains." Thanks to our own faculty moderator John Reed for talking to him!
A meditation on home and homelessness, Ghost Dances combines memoir, history, and vision into an evocative chronicle in the ocean of grass where Josh Garrett-Davis came of age amid loss, love, and the rituals of hope. A unique and moving book. — Brenda Wineapple
Ghost Dances is beautifully open-spirited. Its ambition never steps on its sense of humor. Garrett-Davis reads his own life as an extension of a landscape that both nurtured and tried to stunt it. What I liked best was how he let the edges mingle: you weren't always sure if the book was about him or about the Plains, and neither was he. Here is a writer whose mind can intrigue us, and a first book that makes it fun to imagine what he might do. — John Jeremiah Sullivan
Josh Garrett-Davis has written songs since he was eight or nine, and played bass guitar in unknown rock and roll bands since he was fourteen. His debut book Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains was published in 2012. He is currently attending graduate school at Princeton, where he is studying American history.
The piece, first published in the Chicago Tribune, is a moving account of how time and illness can tragically reverse the roles of a daughter and a mother.
About the piece, Schulman explains:
After a highly active life, my mother was bedridden with advanced dementia in her nineties. Managing her care and watching her decline was painful. I knew others were facing similar challenges. As an essayist, I strive to transform my personal angst into stories that resonate with readers.
Raising My Mother explores role reversals as I became “my mother’s mother.” This theme evolved into a series of essays. I sold five essays to Marcia Lythcott, the wonderful Op-Ed Editor at The Chicago Tribune. She left me a message that she was buying Raising My Mother after having read only half—the emotional power was so strong. It was the best compliment I’ve received from an editor.
Using material from this series of essays, I have written a memoir, also titled Raising My Mother; I am currently seeking a publisher. Both the essay and the memoir are dedicated to my mother, whose complicated life and indomitable spirit have been a great inspiration to me.
Below is an excerpt of the essay, but you can read it in its entirety on the Chicago Tribune's website.
I received a Mother's Day card, filled with childlike prose, colorful illustrations and glittery hearts. The cover's message, in a purple playful font: For you, Mom.
For kissing my boo-boos, for wiping my face,
For calming my fears with your loving embrace,
This card was not from my daughter — a disconcerting fact, but not entirely surprising either.
For putting your foot down and just saying NO!
For dealing with tantrums and back talk and pranks,
What more can I say but…
"I LOVE YOU" and "THANKS!"
A smiling mother was hugging a grateful child. The card was signed "Mom." It was from my 91-year-old mother. Never before had it been more evident that our roles had completely reversed. Had she noticed the irony when she purchased the card? Did it even matter?
On Mother's Day and the rest of the year, her shaky script wrote. "Thanks, Mom."
Candy Schulman's work has appeared in many journals and newspapers including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Glamour, Travel & Leisure, Parents, Family Circle, and Newsweek. She has lectured at premier writers' conferences and has been a guest speaker on National Public Radio. A School of Writing faculty member at The New School for 25 years, she has a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from New York University. A native New Yorker, she lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and daughter.
Lisa Cohen is the author of the triple biography, All We Know: Three Lives, which adroitly tells the stories of Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta, and Madge Garland. Each of these women were creative intellectuals submerged in and shaping the cultural spheres of their time while attempting to navigate the complexities of what that entails. A seemingly impossible task, Lisa Cohen manages to weave three idiosyncratic, yet sonorously resonant, complicated and interesting lives into one book.
We were very lucky to receive her for a reading and forum.
At the forum Lisa Cohen, quoting Esther Murphy (one of the subjects of All We Know), confided:
"Finishing a book is as lonely as beginning it."
On the complications of writing biography and constructing a narrative Lisa Cohen remarked:
"There is a tradition of an omniscient voice who pretends to know everything—even more than the subject itself."
Responding to a quote by author Colm Toibin, Lisa Cohen countered:
"The difference between fact and fiction is the difference between land and water but land and water... they touch."
Many thanks to Lisa Cohen and moderator Honor Moore for providing us with such an insightful night.
All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen is available to order online or at your local bookstore.
Lisa Cohen is the author of All We Know: Three Lives (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). Her essays and poems have appeared in Fashion Theory, Bookforum, Vogue, Ploughshares, Boog City, Barrow Street, Lit, The Paris Review Daily, Newsday, the Voice Literary Supplement, and other journals and anthologies. Her interview with the biographer Michael Holroyd is forthcoming from The Paris Review. She teaches at Wesleyan University.
Moderated by Honor Moore, faculty at the School of Writing.
Kiran Desai (author of The Inheritance of Loss) and Laren McClung (author of the poetry collection, Between Here and Monkey Mountain) joined MFA faculty member Tiphanie Yanique for a forum about eschewing and innovating beyond the tinny advice of "writing what you know."
On the process of writing characters with different economic backgrounds Kiran Desai said:
"If you open the door, it's very easy. And then you begin to make connections with all these people from different landscapes… and then you begin to make it fiction."
Desai answered the question of balancing between narrative and lyrical word choice saying:
"I read a lot of poetry and it teaches me how to move—between landscapes and people. The poetry of the prose does become quite important."
On the use of non-fiction in fiction she admitted:
"I have found that anytime I do non-fiction work, it helps me enormously in my fiction."
Laren McClung spoke to the audience about the process of writing saying:
"Time is really important… It's important that we process things through our psyche, and internalize it fully before we come to the page with it."
On narrative McClung said:
"Narrative for me was important. I never have a narrative fully in my mind when I write, but I know it will come."
"It's important to me because I never want my listener to be baffled. "
And on influence she warned:
"As a writer you don't want your own voice to become too close to someone else's."
Both Kiran Desai's book and Laren McClung's collection are available to order online or at your local bookstore. Many thanks to both of them for spending time with us to talk about the artistry of writing.
Kiran Desai is the author of The Inheritance of Loss, which won the 2006 Booker Prize. Her first book was Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. She’s been published in the New Yorker and Mirrorwork, an anthology of 50 years of Indian writing edited by Salman Rushdie.
Laren McClung is the author of Between Here and Monkey Mountain. She’s been the recipient of a Goldwater Hospital Teaching Fellowship, a Teachers & Writers Collaborative Van Lier Fellowship, and a Veterans Writing Fellowship at NYU. McClung is coeditor of the anthology Inheriting the War.
Moderated by Tiphanie Yanique, Assistant Professor at the School of Writing.
MFA faculty member James Lasdun's new memoir, Give Me Everything You Have, is now available from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
On the Lasdun's memoir, Joyce Carol Oates wrote:
“Here is a chilling account of what it is to experience ‘verbal terrorism’ in the age of email and the Internet—a riveting memoir of James Lasdun’s nightmare experience of having been stalked for five years by a former student. This must be the most informative, the most insightful, and the most beautifully written of any account from the victim’s perspective of what has come to be called ‘cyberbullying.’”
Philip Schultz adds:
“Give Me Everything You Have is a stunning fusion of memoir, travelogue, and compelling literary self-analysis. With the intuitive and psychological panache of Saul Bellow and the mythic intelligence and sweep of Robert Graves, James Lasdun explores the personal and historic qualities of terror and victimhood. The inquisition on anti-Semitism in all its inglorious aspects is both alarming and profound. It’s an original, honest, and courageous book.”
Writing for The New York Times, Scott Bradfield describes Give Me Everything You Have as:
"…[a] smart, rigorous and beautifully written memoir about being on the unwelcome end of someone else's attention…The ultimate revenge of people like Nasreen is that eventually they can get you to start thinking about them as much as they're already thinking about you, and the strength of Lasdun's latest book…is that he takes this meditation on a disastrous relationship into wider, and often more productive, arenas of discussion…On every page, Lasdun's prose is absorbing, involving and perfectly expressed."
Give Me Everything You Have is available to order online or at your local bookstore.
You can read an excerpt of Lasdun's book at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York. He has published two novels, as well as several collections of short stories and poetry. He has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times, T. S. Eliot, and Forward prizes in poetry, and he was the winner of the inaugural BBC National Short Story Award. His nonfiction has been published in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, and the London Reviewof Books. He is a faculty member for the New School's MFA program in Fiction.
Thanks to the cooperation of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the New School Graduate Writing Program, as well as the tireless efforts of our students and faculty, we are able to provide for you interviews with each of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Finalists concerning their selected book.
Below, watch MFA student Diane Masucci talk with the General Nonfiction winner, Andrew Solomon, about his prize winning book, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.
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Diane T. Masucci is a 2013 candidate for an MFA in Fiction at The New School. She writes essays and short stories that mine family life. An award-winning journalist for 15 years, Diane is the mother of two children and lives in Montclair, N.J. with her husband and insatiable labrador retriever.
For more interviews with the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award finalists visit The American Vanguard.