NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
The Acclaimed Author of The Ice Storm
NYS Writers Institute Reading, February 24, 2004
4:15 p.m. Informal Seminar | UArt Museum,
Fine Arts Building
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, PAC, Uptown Campus
Rick Moody is one of the most acclaimed American novelists of his generation. He is best-known for his bestselling novel, The Ice Storm (1994), which was made into a 1997 motion picture, directed by Ang Lee. The film, which earned James Schamus a Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival, is credited with launching the careers of Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci.
Set in New Canaan, Connecticut, The Ice Storm is a novel about the disintegration of a suburban American family that takes place during the course of a single Thanksgiving weekend in the early 1970s.
"This is a blackly funny, beautifully written novel. It is also remarkably mature, containing far more insights about family life and far more wisdom than any 29-year-old author should reasonably possess." - The London Sunday Times
Moody’s most recent book is The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions (2002). An engaging and unpredictable autobiography, The Black Veil gives insights into the life experiences that have helped shape Moody’s powerful fictions about suburban America, divorced families, sensitive protagonists, and troubled childhoods. The book also recounts the 29 days the author spent in a Queens psychiatric hospital, as well as his research into his ancestral New England past in search of the roots of his family’s melancholy. The Black Veil takes its title from a Hawthorne story which, Moody contends, was based on a colonial ancestor of his who wore a black veil as penance for accidentally killing a friend.
". . .a profound meditation on madness, shame and history, and it’s also a rigorous and generous contemplation of heart, land and family…. Its timeless exploration of issues that are essential to what it means to be an American makes it likely that ‘The Black Veil’ will take its place among classic American memoirs." - Jeffrey Smith, The Washington Post Book World on The Black Veil
Other recent books include the short story collection, Demonology (2000) and the novel, Purple America (1997). Demonology chronicles the experiences of love and grief in latter-day America. The Boston Sunday Herald reviewer said that Moody’s words, "are as well-chosen as the syllables of a sonnet." Purple America is the story of a middle-aged suburban man who embarks on a disastrous affair with a childhood crush. The Detroit Free Press reviewer called the novel "rapturous" and said that Moody "is a master at conveying the nuances of a certain sort of stuck, over-reaching, upper-middle-class life—golf courses, scotch-and-sodas, station wagons, tennis socks—as a means of making larger statements."
Moody is also an art critic who has contributed text to several contemporary art and photography books, including Roy Lichtenstein: Times Square Mural (2003), Twilight: Photographs by Gregory Crewdson (2002), Fred Tomaselli: Ten Year Survey (2001), and Hover: Artist Monographs with Fiction (1998).
Roy Lichtenstein: Times Square Mural is an accompaniment to a 53-foot-long work by Roy Lichtenstein that was unveiled in September 2002 in the Times Square subway station, and documented by a gallery exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. For the latter show, the gallery commissioned a short story by Moody, Report on Miniaturization (Metropolis, 2030 A.D.).
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.