Gish Jen has spent much of her literary career writing about the experiences of Chinese-Americans. Her latest book, “The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap,” makes the case for the sociological and cultural patterns that influence many aspects of identity.

For many today, retirement and the leisure said to accompany it have become vestiges of a slower, long‑lost time. In a world where the sense of identity is tied to work and careers, to stop working often is to become nobody.

In this "Last Works: Lessons in Leaving," Mark C. Taylor explores the final reflections of writers and thinkers from Kierkegaard to David Foster Wallace. How did they either face or avoid ending and leaving? What do their lessons in ending teach us about living in the time that remains for us?

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion at Columbia University and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and NPR.

Gish Jen is a beloved and prize-winning chronicler of the Chinese-American experience in fiction. Her new work, "The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap," explores stark differences between Eastern and Western ideas of the "self."

She will be in Albany, NY for two events sponsored by The New York State Writers Institute on Tuesday, January 30.

  When Allan Johnson asked his dying father where he wanted his ashes to be placed, his father replied--without hesitation--that it made no difference to him at all.

In his memoir, Not from Here, Johnson embarks on a 2,000-mile journey across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains to find the place where his father's ashes belonged.

More than a personal narrative, Not from Here illuminates the national silence around unresolved questions of accountability, race, and identity politics, and the dilemma of how to take responsibility for a past we did not create.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.

The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.