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John Crowley
John Crowley


NYS Writers Institute, March 29, 2011
7:00 p.m. Reading | Science Library, Room340, Uptown Campus
4:15 p.m. Semiar | University Art Museum, Fine Arts Building

John Crowley, prize-winning author of literary fantasy and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the World Fantasy Convention in 2006, will read from his work on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Art Museum, Fine Arts Building, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day, the author will present an informal seminar at 4:15 p.m. in Science Library 340 on the uptown campus. The events are free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the University Art Museum in association with the exhibit “Eunjung Hwang and Ati Maier.”

John Crowley,
acclaimed author of fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction, received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the World Fantasy Convention in 2006, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1992. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Jonathan Dee called him “an abundantly gifted writer, a scholar whose passion for history is matched by his ability to write a graceful sentence.” The Chicago Tribune called him “one of the few writers who successfully crosses the razor-thin but definite line between genre fiction and literary fiction.”

Crowley’s most recent novel is Four Freedoms (2009), a historical novel about life at an aircraft factory during the Second World War. In advance praise, NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw called it, “so rich, so evocative and so authentic.” Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Max Byrd said, “John Crowley is a virtuoso of metaphor, a peerless recreator of living moments, of small daily sublimities.”

Crowley received the World Fantasy Award in 1981 for “Best Novel” for Little, Big— a multi-generational family saga set in a magical New England, a fairyland that coexists in secrecy with ordinary life. Critic Harold Bloom has ranked Little, Big among the five best novels by a living writer. The reviewer for the L. A. Herald-Examiner called it, “The kind of book around which cults are formed, and rightly so.”  A new, illustrated edition of Little, Big, with critical commentary, will be published this year.

Other works by Crowley include four volumes of the highly-praised fantasy series AEgypt (1987-2007), and Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land (2005). Crowley also received the World Fantasy Award for “Best Novella” in 1983 for Great Work of Time. AEgypt tells the story of a scholar of history who discovers that the Universe is governed by magical forces. Writing in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, leading fantasy author Elizabeth Hand called the AEgypt tetralogy, “a work of mind-spinning complexity,” and called the final volume, Endless Things (2007), “surprising and, in its final pages, almost unbearably moving.”

With his wife, Laurie Block, Crowley is also a historical filmmaker whose works have aired on PBS and other networks. Notable films include No Place to Hide (1982),about the bomb shelter craze of the 1950s, The World of Tomorrow (1984), about the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and Pearl Harbor: Surprise and Remembrance (1991).

Crowley teaches creative writing and “Utopian literature” at Yale University.
Cosponsored by the University Art Museum in association with the exhibit, “Eunjung Hwang and Ati Maier” (February 1 – April 2, 2011), featuring fantastical figures and virtual landscapes.

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