ESSENTIAL READING

Peter Constantine Talks to Judy Sternlight

 

From the latest Scandinavian thriller to Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels, fiction in translation has seen an upsurge in interest from the reading public. Here translator, editor, and director of the Literary Translation Program at the University of Connecticut, Peter Constantine talks to editor Judy Sternlight about this burgeoning art form. READ

 

Don't miss Peter Constantine on December 8th at the Center. He'll be moderating a panel for the New Literature from Europe Festival, Writing to Change Hearts and Minds

The Book Drop: Entertain Me, Move Me, or Die.

by Jon Michaud

Escape from your family this weekend by reading the November Book Drop. Jon Michaud talks to author Peter Orner about throwing books (this might come in handy over the dinner table), the use of memory in fiction, and his new collection of essays, Am I Alone Here? from Catapult

 

"I asked Orner if he often turned the books he reads into projectiles. 'My god, all the time,' he responded. 'As a great Chicagoan once said about politics, reading ain’t beanbag. Entertain me, move me, or die.’ " READ

What Does It Mean to Be an American? 

 

Feeling a bit lost after recent events? Fiction has come to the rescue! Our bookshop window, curated by our library assistant Kris Santos, displays a collection of fiction that reminds us of the true American identity—a melting pot of cultures, races, belief systems, sexual orientations, and more.

 

Click through to read about Kris's process in selecting these fantastic books and to see the list. It includes classics like Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and the latest hits like Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad (winner of the 2016 National Book Award.) We hope you'll stop by the Center to pick one of these up!  READ

A Week After 11/9

by Anne Landsman

 

In this essay, novelist Anne Landsman talks about growing up during South Africa's apartheid, how her Jewish parents quietly fought xenophobia, and what Trump's election means to her.

 

"Thirty-seven years of living here did not prepare me for this moment. Suddenly all the freedoms I so cherish in my adoptive homeland are in question. My coping mechanisms are in overdrive." READ

The Donald = The Silvio?
by Dr. Stan Burnett


"Americans and Italians, trying to find their footing after the election earthquake, have turned to comparisons. Is the Trump phenomenon so similar to the Berlusconi phenomenon that something can be learned from the Berlusconi years in Italy?"


Stan Burnett can offer quite a bit of insight into the life and times of former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi because his career in diplomatic service brought him in close proximity to the controversial leader. Here, Burnett examines the surprising similarities and equally nerve-wracking differences between Berlusconi and our new president-elect. READ  

Writing to Destroy Memory

by Claudia Casper


Our new feature The Story of the Book gives authors the chance to provide insight into the creation of their books. In this post, Claudia Casper, author of the new book The Mercy Journals, shares how General Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian general who led the UN Peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, inspired her to write about genocide and its ramifications on individuals and society.

 

"Novels take us deeper inside another person than any other art form; they experientially expand our solitary worlds and our single lifespans into more than just our own." READ 

Morning After

by Roxana Robinson

 

In a new essay, author Roxana Robinson (Sparta, Cost) reflects on her experiences campaigning for the Democratic Party in the once flourishing community of Reading, PA, now the fifth poorest city in the country. 

 

"I campaigned in Reading, PA. This is Updike country: Reading was the model for the prosperous town of “Brewer” in his elegiac Rabbit quartet. It was built around the turn of the century, full of handsome neo-classical buildings, brick and stone. I went out into its streets with a crowd of eager volunteers. Our faces were fresh and enthusiastic, but Reading is no longer prosperous, and the faces we met were angry. They turned furious when I said who I was working for." READ 

Five Questions for Torrey Maldonado

 

In October we welcomed Torrey Maldonado, a New York-based author who writes books for middle-grade and teen readers, to the Center for a KidsRead event. Torrey spoke to seventh graders from The Renaissance Charter School and the Ascend Charter School about his book Secret Saturdays, which all the students read as part of our KidsRead program.

 

The kids had such great questions that we thought we'd keep Torrey on his toes by asking him about being a teacher and a writer, and his work in conflict resolution training. READ



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We hope you'll join us for our Annual Awards Dinner on December 6th. Jonathan Lethem will present Eric Simonoff with the Maxwell E. Perkins Award. And last year's First Novel Prize recipient, Viet Thanh Nguyen, will announce this year's winner. 

 

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