Bestselling satirist and oscar-nominated screenwriter, to read
from his new novel about sex ed in the public schools
November 29, 2007
Tom Perrotta, author of the masterpieces of satirical fiction, “Election” (1998)
and “Little Children” (2004), both of which were adapted
as major motion pictures, will read from his hilarious new novel about
sex education in the public schools on Thursday, November 29, 2007 at
8:00 p.m. in Campus Center 375 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. The events are sponsored by the
New York State Writers Institute and the Greater Capital Region Teacher
Center, and are free and open to the public.
In addition to his presentations
on Thursday, November 29, Tom Perrotta will offer commentary and answer
questions immediately following a film screening of “Little Children” on
Friday, November 30, at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time] in Page Hall
on the UAlbany downtown campus. Perrotta will also hold an informal seminar
on screenwriting at 4:15 p.m. on Friday in Science Library 340 on the
Tom Perrotta writes biting satires about suburban life and adolescent
experience. His newest novel is “The Abstinence Teacher” (2007),
a foray into the world of sex education and the American culture wars.
Ruth Ramsey is a sex education instructor in the middle school of an
affluent American community. Her unguarded answer to a question about
oral sex causes a scandal at the school, arouses the ire of the Christian
Right, and eventually leads to her being saddled with a new “abstinence-only” curriculum.
Meanwhile, hard-line evangelical Tom Mason, the middle school soccer
coach who enjoys leading his team in prayer, is running into problems
of his own, including a growing attraction to Ruth, his arch-enemy.
“Kirkus Reviews” called the book, “Ruefully
humorous and tenderly understanding of human folly; the most mature,
accomplished work yet from this deservedly bestselling author.” The
novel has already been optioned for a film to be directed by Jonathan
Dayton and Valerie Faris, the team behind the indie hit “Little
Miss Sunshine” (2006).
Perrotta’s previous novels include “Little Children” (2004),
a “New York Times” and NPR “Best Book of 2004”; “Joe
College” (2000), “Election” (1998) and “The Wishbones” (1997).
Perrotta is also the author of a story collection, “Bad Haircut:
Stories of the Seventies” (1994).
The tale of a bitterly fought election for High School Class President, “Election” (1998)
became a hit 1999 movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick,
and earned both Perrotta and co-screenwriter Jim Taylor an Oscar nomination
for “Best Screenplay.” “Publishers Weekly” called
the book, “A convincing portrait of a time of life, illuminating
all the profound cruelty and tenderness of adolescence.”
“Little Children” (2004) follows the course of an adulterous affair
between a stay-at-home mom and a stay-at-home-dad who meet on the playground
of a prosperous American suburb. Writing in the “New York Times Book
Review,” Will Blythe said, “What a wicked joy it is to welcome ‘Little
Children,’ Tom Perrotta’s extraordinary novel...a sterling comic
contribution... at once suspenseful, ruefully funny and ultimately generous...What
is Tom Perrotta but an American Chekov whose characters even at their most
ridiculous seem blessed and ennobled by a luminous human aura?”
Perrotta shared a second Oscar nomination with director Todd Field for
their 2006 screen adaptation of “Little Children.” The film version
starred Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson. Writing in the “Guardian” (UK),
Philip French called it, “a sharply observed and brilliantly acted study
of American suburban life.”
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute
at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.