From his early 70s dispatches as a critic for the Village Voice on rock and roll, comedy, movies, and television to the literary criticism of the 80s and 90s that made him famous, to his must-read cultural reporting for Vanity Fair- James Walcott has had a career as a free lance critic and a literary intellectual like none other.
With his new career-spanning collection Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades and Hurrahs- he gives us his best critical essays and cultural journalism.
At this time of year there are all kinds of almanacs that come out that list important days and times in the year in advance - but for readers, those famously impractical dreamers, A Book of Days is a pleasurable treasure hunt going far beyond births, deaths, and publication dates.
Eight time Jeopardy Champion, Tom Nissley’s A Readers Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers For Every Day of the Year- is a day by day literary companion, part love letter to literature, part charming guide to the books most worth reading. It’s a collection that features bite size accounts both real and fictional for everyday of the year.
Film Critic Bill Wine will discuss the psychological difference between reading a book and viewing a film.
Bill Wine has been writing about and teaching film throughout his career, serving as a movie critic for magazines, newspapers, radio and television and online. He served as the movie critic for Fox Television for twelve years, earning eight Emmy award nominations and winning three Emmy awards. Wine has been the movie critic for the CBS station KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia since 2001. He has also written for The Village Voice, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and many other publications. He is the Tenured professor of film, La Salle University and he joins us to tell us more.
Norman Mailer was one of the giants of American letters and one of the most celebrated public figures of his time. He was a novelist, journalist, biographer, and filmmaker; a provocateur and passionate observer of his times; and a husband, father, and serial philanderer.
J. Michael Lennon knew Mailer for thirty-five years, and has written the new biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life.
Novelist John Irving is known for his legendary novels, The World According to Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year and A Prayer for Owen Meany.
Irving will help kick off this week’s Williamstown Film Festival when he’ll speak with Williams College professor Jim Shepard about Irving’s Oscar-winning adaptation of his novel The Cider House Rules.
Largely forgotten today, Sydney and Violet Schiff were ubiquitous, almost Zelig-like figures in the most important literary movement of the twentieth century. Their friendships among the elite of the Modernist writers were remarkable, and their extensive correspondence with T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, Proust, and many others strongly suggests both intimacy and intellectual equality.
In Sydney and Violet, Stephen Klaidman examines what divides the literary survivors from the victims of taste and time.
In Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations, Mary Beard, drawing on thirty years of teaching and writing about Greek and Roman history, provides a panoramic portrait of the classical world, a book in which we encounter not only Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, but also the common people—the millions of inhabitants of the Roman Empire, the slaves, soldiers, and women.
Lydia Davis, winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, has been called “one of the quiet giants . . . of American fiction” by the Los Angeles Times Book Review, “an American virtuoso of the short story form” by Salon, and “one of the best writers in America” by O Magazine.
She is renowned in literary circles for perfecting the craft of the “extremely short short story,” and is beginning to enjoy a much wider readership. Novelist Dave Eggers has said that Davis’s work, “blows the roof off of so many of our assumptions about what constitutes short fiction.”
Her most recent book is The Collected Stories, a compilation of pieces from four previously published volumes.
The ArtsWalk Literary Arts Festival takes place at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson this weekend. Lydia Davis will be reading with writer James Lasdun from 3:30 to 5 PM tomorrow.
In E. B. White on Dogs, the author's granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of his essays, poems, letters, and sketches depicting over a dozen of White's various canine companions.