NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
RISING LITERARY STARS STACEY D’ERASMO AND IRA SHER WILL DISCUSS THEIR WORK
NYS Writers Institute, March 12, 2009
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library
8:00 p.m. REading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Stacey D’Erasmo, leading voice in contemporary gay fiction, and acclaimed novelist Ira Sher, will appear jointly to read from and discuss their work on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. they will present an informal seminar in the Standish Room of the Science Library on the uptown campus. The events, sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, are free and open to the public.
Stacey D’Erasmo, widely-praised novelist and past editor for seven years of the “Voice Literary Supplement,” explores the complexities of love, conflict, and identity among gay characters and within gay families.
Her newest novel, inspired by Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” is “The Sky Below” (2009), the story of a troubled New York City artist, Gabriel, and his daily creative struggles. Like Ovid’s characters, Gabriel experiences a series of transformations: he is by turns a burglar, bicycle messenger, bartender, male prostitute, office temp, drug dealer, obituary writer, and cutting edge visual artist.
In a starred review, “Publishers Weekly” called the book, “A luminous novel crafted in meticulous detail with shimmering language.” The “Bloomberg News” reviewer said, “Intricately imagined and economically told, D’Erasmo’s riddling third novel made me want to start over as soon as I reached the last page.”
D’Erasmo’s other novels include “A Seahorse Year” (2004), about the troubled teenaged son of a gay family in turmoil; and the “New York Times” Notable Book, “Tea” (2000), a coming-of-age novel featuring a lesbian character named Isabel who experiments with a series of identities.
Writing of “A Seahorse Year” in the “New York Times,” Margot Livesey said, “What is abundantly clear throughout is D’Erasmo's talent and intelligence. ‘A Seahorse Year’ succeeds in being both deeply satisfying and quietly subversive.” The “Newsday” reviewer said of “Tea,” “I have read a whole lot of contemporary first novels and there’s not one I would have characterized as flawless until I read ‘Tea.’"
Ira Sher is the author of the new novel, “Singer” (2009), the tale of a travelling sewing machine salesman implicated in a series of motel fires. The “Publishers Weekly” reviewer said, “In this gorgeously written yet elusive book, sophomore novelist Sher chronicles a surreal road trip and uses the Singer Sewing Company as a metaphor for the erosion of America…. fans of offbeat stories and dazzling prose will find this novel inspired and inspiring.”
Sher’s first novel was “Gentlemen of Space” (2004), the story of a boy whose father is chosen to be the first civilian on the moon. The “San Diego Tribune” reviewer said, “With writing this adroit and bursting with supernovas of wisdom, ambitionwise, Sher’s debut rivals that of Neil Armstrong.”
Sher’s short fiction has been featured on the public radio program, “This American Life.” He has been a finalist for the Pushcart Prize and “Best American Mystery Stories.”
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.