NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
MAJOR CONTEMPORARY NOVELIST, TO DISCUSS HER NEW NOVEL, “SALVATION CITY”
NYS Writers Institute, October 7, 2010
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Sigrid Nunez, major contemporary novelist, will read from and discuss her new novel “Salvation City” (2010), set in the aftermath of a flu pandemic, at 8:00 p.m., Thursday, October 7, 2010, 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 present an informal seminar in the same location. Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, the events are free and open to the public.
Sigrid Nunez, prize-winning author, grew up in a New York City housing project, the daughter of a Chinese-Panamanian father and German mother. She has been called “one of the most dizzyingly accomplished of our writers” (“The New York Times”) and “a master of psychological acuity” (“The New Yorker”). A three-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, she is also a past recipient of the prestigious Whiting Writers’ Award and numerous other honors.
Her latest novel is “Salvation City” (September 2010), about an orphaned 13-year-old boy who is adopted into a Christian fundamentalist community in the aftermath of a flu pandemic that wipes out much of the world’s population. Writing in “Booklist,” Donna Seamon said, “Adept at matching psychological intricacy with edge-of-your-seat plots, the versatile Nunez gracefully entwines a classic coming-of-age story with a terrifying medical catastrophe and a profound battle between secular and religious viewpoints.” In advance of publication, the new novel was selected for the “Indie Next Great Reads” book list of the American Booksellers Association, and was named a “Most Anticipated” book of 2010 by the literary blog, “The Millions.”
Nunez is the author of five previous novels, “A Feather on the Breath of God” (1995), a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway First Fiction Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award; “Naked Sleeper” (1996); “Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury” (1998), a novel told from the point of view of Virginia Woolf’s pet monkey, and winner of the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; “For Rouenna” (2001); and “The Last of Her Kind” (2006).
A former faculty member of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Middlebury, Vermont, Nunez is a Literature Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a former Prize Fellow of the American Academies of Rome and Berlin.
The story of a college friendship that unfolds at Barnard in the 1960s, and in the decades that followed, “The Last of Her Kind” was hailed as a masterpiece in the press, landing on lists naming the “Best Books of 2006” in the “Village Voice,” “Newsday” and “Christian Science Monitor,” among other publications. Writing in the Toronto “Globe and Mail,” Sara Nelson, editor of “Publishers Weekly,” named it her favorite book of that year, saying, “It’s the first novel in a long time that I wanted to hide under my desk at work, the better to sneak in a few chapters between meetings.”
A memoir of Nunez’s long friendship with author and literary critic Susan Sontag, “Sempre Susan,” will be published in 2011. A portion of that work, “Sontag’s Rules,” which was published in the literary magazine “Tin House” in Fall 2009, has already received the Pushcart Prize, and will appear in that organization’s 35th anthology.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute
at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.