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Kate ChristensenKate Christensen
American Author
Valerie MartinValerie Martin
American Author


NYS Writers Institute, September 23, 2008

4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library
8:00 p.m. Reading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Kate Christensen, winner of the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for the novel, “The Great Man”(2007), and Valerie Martin, bestselling author of historical and horror fiction, will discuss their work on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the authors will present an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and are free and open to the public.


Kate Christensen
received the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for her bestselling novel, “The Great Man”(2007), the story of a famous American artist, Oscar Feldman, a seducer and painter of voluptuous nudes, and the women he leaves behind after his death: his long-suffering wife Abigail, his bohemian mistress Teddy, and his sister and fellow painter Maxine.

The “USA Today” reviewer said, “These characters are wonderfully developed and break the stereotype of the aging female protagonist. Christensen...boldly has raised the bar.” “O.”magazine said, “Christensen’s writing is clear-eyed, muscular, bitingly funny, and supremely caustic about the niceties of social relations, contemporary American culture, and sexual politics.” The “New York Times” reviewer said, “Mischievous... funny, astute.... Christensen is a witty observer of the art universe.”

Christensen is also the author of “The Epicure’s Lament”(2004), the tale of Hugo Whittier, an ex-libertine, misanthrope and failed poet suffering from a terminal illness. People magazine called the book, “A mini-masterpiece,” and said, “Hugo is one of the most memorable creations in recent fiction.”
Christensen’s earlier books include “Jeremy Thrane”(2001) and “In the Drink”(1999).

Valerie Martin, who writes in many genres, is best known for “Mary Reilly”(1990), a novel that retells Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”from the point-of-view of a young housekeeper in love with the “good doctor.” The book received the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for “Best Novel,” and became the basis of a 1996 film starring John Malkovich and Julia Roberts.

Martin’s most recent novel, “Trespass”(2007), tells the story of two young lovers and their families— one American, one Croatian— as they become increasingly drawn into the unimaginable horrors of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. The “Chicago Tribune”reviewer said, “Valerie Martin is an intrepid explorer of human interiors.... ‘Trespass’ is a literary treasure.” The “New York Times” said, “Martin is an uncompromising, serious writer, concerned with both the eternal verities and what matters right now…[‘Trespass’] is the best kind of moral fiction, the kind that interrogates morality itself.”

Martin received the United Kingdom’s prestigious Orange Prize for her racially-charged historical novel, “Property” (2003),about a prosperous female slaveowner in 1820s New Orleans. Toni Morrison said, “This fresh, unsentimental look at what slaveowning does to (and for) one’s interior life must be a first. And the writing— so prised and clean-limbed— is a marvel.”

Martin is also the author of the nonfiction book, “Salvation: Scenes from the Life of St. Francis”(2001), and three story collections.

Online Magazine Article
Desire Doesn't Fade with Age by Susan Comninos | Story on Kate Christensen

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.