PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE NOVEL, “AMERICAN WOMAN” (2003),
TO DISCUSS HER NEW THRILLER “A PERSON OF INTEREST”
NYS Writers Institute, February 12, 2008
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Susan Choi, Pulitzer Prize finalist for “American Woman” (2003), will read from her new novel, “A Person of Interest” (2008), on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in 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 Standish Room, 3rd Floor, Science Library on the uptown campus. The events, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.
Susan Choi, Korean-American fiction writer and staff member of the “New Yorker,” is a young, rising star of the American literary scene. Joan Didion has called her “a writer whose intelligence and historical awareness effortlessly serve a breathtaking narrative ability.” A profile of Choi served as the cover story of the January/February 2008 issue of “Poets and Writers” magazine.
Choi is the author most recently of “A Person of Interest” (2008), a thriller about a mild-mannered Asian American math professor falsely accused of killing prominent scientists with mail bombs. The novel has been described as a fusion of the Unabomber and Wen Ho Lee investigations.
In a starred review, “Booklist” said, “Subtle humor, emotional acuity, and breathtaking plot twists keep this tale of wounding secrets rolling as Choi’s brilliant calculus of revelation and forgiveness delivers a triumphant conclusion.” In another starred review, “Publishers Weekly” called “A Person of Interest”, “a haunting meditation on the myriad forms of alienation.... a magisterial meditation on appearance and misunderstanding.”
Choi was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for “American Woman” (2003), a novel based on the 1974 kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army. The novel’s central character, Jenny Shimada, is based on the real-life Japanese-American radical, Wendy Yoshimura. The “USA Today” reviewer said, “Choi gives us an intelligently rendered book that reminds us how fascinating Hearst’s story — and the times that spawned it — really were.” Writing in the “New York Times Book Review,” Sven Birkerts said, “In the manner of Don DeLillo in ‘Libra’ or Joyce Carol Oates in ‘Black Water’... [Choi] takes us straight into one of the strangest segments of our ever surreal American dream life.”
Choi’s first novel was “The Foreign Student” (1999), winner of the Asian-American Literary Award. A tale of the relationship between a Korean refugee and a New Orleans heiress, the novel is based on Choi’s father’s experiences in wartime Korea and in America. “Publishers Weekly” called it, an “impressive debut” and “a work full of ambition and considerable talent.” Novelist John Gregory Dunne called it, “A novel of secrets that unfolds like the leaves on an artichoke. ‘The Foreign Student’. . .marks the debut of a gifted young novelist wise beyond her years.”
Choi also coedited the anthology, “Wonderful Town: New York Stories from ‘The New Yorker’” (2000), with that magazine’s editor-in-chief, David Remnick.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.