nys writers logo


Donald Antrim, photo by Ulrike Schamoni
Donald Antrim


NYS Writers Institute, Thursday, November 5, 2015
4:15 p.m. Reading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus

Donald Antrim, fiction writer and memoirist, will read from his new story collection, The Emerald Light in the Air (2014),on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. in the Assembly Hall of the Campus Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.

Donald Antrim
is a celebrated fiction writer and memoirist who has acquired a cult following for brilliant and wildly inventive fiction. He has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award (1998) and the National Book Critics Circle award (2007). In 1999, the New Yorker named him as one of the twenty Emerald Light in the Airbest writers under the age of forty and in 2003, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Antrim’s new book, The Emerald Light in the Air (2014), is his debut collection of short fiction. It gathers seven stories, all published in the New Yorker over the last fifteen years, which deal with weighty subjects such as depression and mental illness, as well as with the minute complexities and small struggles of everyday life. Lorin Stein, editor of the Paris Review, said “His themes are the Chekhovian classics—ambivalence toward the life at hand; yearning for the life that might have been—and he evokes unhappy love with a sensuousness and a subtle, plausible magic that recall Cheever at his best.” Writing in Publishers Weekly, Joseph O’Neill called the stories “brilliant, antic, emotional… tremendously funny and moving.”

Adelle Waldman, in the New York Times Book Review, said “The most underrated quality in fiction nowadays is intelligence; the most overrated, imagination. DonaldAntrim possesses both—but his intelligence is what makes you sit up Donald Antrimstraighter when you begin his new collection, The Emerald Light in the Air. Very quickly you realize you are reading something different from the mass of competent, earnest and depressingly dull short stories that are as commonplace now as ever.”

Vanity Fair said “No one writes more eloquently about the male crack-up and the depths of loneliness than Donald Antrim; the stories in The Emerald Light in the Air, hopscotching between the surreal and ordinary, comic and heartbreaking, are dazzling.”

A regular contributor to the New Yorker and an associate professor at Columbia University, Antrim is the author of three novels: Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World (1993), The Hundred Brothers (1998), and The Verificationist (2000), which George Saunders called “one of the most pleasure-giving, perverse, complicated, and addictive novels in the past 20 years.” Antrim is also the author of a memoir, The Afterlife, published in 2006.

Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen has called Antrim “arguably more unlike any other living writer than any other living writer,” while Bill Buford, writing in The Wall Street Journal, calls him “one of the sharpest, funniest, darkest writers of [my] generation.”

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