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Charles Baxter, photo by Keri PickettCharles

Fiction writer


James LasdunJames

Fiction writers

Previous visit
October 29, 2009

NYS Writers Institute, November 15, 2016
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Charles Baxter, widely celebrated master of the short story form, will read from his newest story collection There’s Something I Want You to Do (2015), and James Lasdun, award-winning fiction writer, will read from his new novel The Fall Guy (Oct. 2016), at 8:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center on UAlbany’s Uptown Campus.  Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the two will hold an informal seminar in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center on UAlbany’s Uptown Campus.  Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, the events are free and open to the public.

There's Something I want you to do.PROFILE
Charles Baxter and James Lasdun will share insights and readings from their celebrated and versatile careers.  Baxter is widely regarded as a master of the short story form. His newest collection, There’s Something I Want You to Do (2015), was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Story Prize.  In her praise of There’s Something I Want You to Do, author Lorrie Moore remarked that “Charles Baxter’s stories proceed with steady grace, nimble humor, quiet authority, and thrilling ingeniousness. . . . He is a great writer.”  O, The Oprah Magazine called Baxter “a master of the form,” and applauded his depiction of “the abhorrent and admirable choices we make and what finally leads a person to choose the high road.”  In a starred review Publishers Weekly said Baxter’s prose “resonates with distinctive turns of phrases that capture human understanding and uncertainty….”

Baxter is also the author of a bestselling novel, The Feast of Love (2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. The Washington Post Book World called The Feast of Love “Superb—a near-perfect book, as deep as it is broad in its humaneness, comedy and wisdom.”Baxter’s other publications include the novels First Light (1987, reprinted 2012), Shadow Play (1993), and The Soul Thief (2008); and the story collections Harmony of the World (1984), A Relative Stranger (1990), Believers (1997) and Gryphon (2011). Baxter teaches at the University of Minnesota, and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. 

James Lasdun is a fiction and nonfiction writer, poet, and screenwriter. Born and raised in England, he has received awards and critical praise for his work on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Fall GuyLasdun’s most recent publication is the novel The Fall Guy (October 2016). A psychological thriller, it has been named a Book of the Month Club Selection and an Indie Next Great Read for November 2016.  Joyce Carol Oates described the book as “an elegantly suspenseful novel set in a brilliantly realized affluent upstate New York community not unlike Woodstock,” and added that the “characters are achingly real, and the self-deceptions that drive them so insightfully depicted, we might almost mistake them for our own.”  In a starred review Publishers Weekly called The Fall Guy “[A] terrific novel of suspense. . . Lasdun presents the inexorable turnings of fate in a subtle and disconcerting way.” Norman Rush, National Book Award-winning author of Mating (1991), praised Lasdun for bringing “the signature gifts to contemporary noir that he’s displayed in other literary venues–wit, style, an attractive gravitas.”

Lasdun’s other novels include Seven Lies (2006) and The Horned Man (2002), which was a New York Times Notable Book.  His other publications include the poetry collections Bluestone: New and Selected Poems (2015), Landscape with Chainsaw (2001), and Woman Police Officer in Elevator (1997); the story collections It’s Beginning to Hurt (2009), named a best book of the year by The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Library Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, and Besieged (2000); and the nonfiction book Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked(2013).
James Lasdun is currently a fellow at the New York State Writers Institute.

For additional information, visit the New York State Writers Institute on Facebook, online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst, or email [email protected], or call 518-442-5620.