PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR, TO READ FROM NEW BOOK ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF ARCHITECTURE
NYS Writers Institute, September 18, 2014
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus
Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, historian of children’s literature, and reigning New York State Author (2012-2014), will read from and discuss her new nonfiction book, The Language of Houses (2014), an exploration of the expressive power of everyday architecture, on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will offer an informal seminar in Campus Center 375 on the uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, historian of children’s literature, and reigning New York State Author (2012-2014), Alison Lurie has published a new nonfiction book, The Language of Houses (2014), an exploration of the expressive power of everyday architecture, featuring homes, apartment buildings, schools, office buildings, museums, prisons, hospitals, churches, restaurants and more. The book examines the messages inherent in everything from particular styles to particular building materials.
In advance praise, author Edmund White said, “Alison Lurie, in her lucid, jargon-free way, allows us to read what architecture is saying. She has culled the best ideas from a vast secondary literature and passed it all through her brilliant mind.”
The book is a companion to Lurie’s classic 1981 work, The Language of Clothes, a pioneering analysis of fashion and what it says about gender, age, class, occupation, ethnicity, personality, tastes, sexual desire, and current mood. Novelist Tom Wolfe called it, “A delightful book about a subject everyone is obsessed with, especially those who say they aren’t.” People magazine called it, “a razor-sharp analysis of the sociological implications of fashion.”
Best-known for novels that have been described as modern “comedies of manners,” including Truth and Consequences (2005), the Pulitzer-winning Foreign Affairs (1984), The War Between the Tates (1974), and Love and Friendship (1962), Lurie is widely regarded as the Jane Austen of contemporary American letters.
In appointing Lurie as New York State Author (2012-14), Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed that, “in her novels and short stories, Alison Lurie has taken on the extremely valuable role of satirist and insightful, compassionate social critic, allowing us to laugh at ourselves and to better understand ourselves, stripping away defenses, she underscores our unwillingness to change on the one hand, and our reckless willingness to change too fast, on the other.”
A pioneering scholar of children’s literature, Lurie also served as a teacher of creative writing at Cornell University for three decades. Short story author Lorrie Moore, a former student, told the Cornell Chronicle, “She was wise, patient and astute. I found myself writing for her, towards her, because of her…. I would not have become a writer without her.”
Previous Visit: 2012-2014 State Author Award Winner
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.