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James Salter, photo by Lana Rys
James Salter


NYS Writers Institute, April 4, 2013
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Room 375 Campus Center , Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Room 375 Campus Center , Uptown Campus


James Salter, acclaimed fiction writer and former New York State Author (1998–2000), will read from his new novel, All That Is (2013), Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 8 p.m. in Campus Center Room 375 on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., he will present an informal seminar in the same location. Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, the events are free and open to the public.

"There are books that are about sexual affairs and almost no description of sex in them. . ." (2:37)

All That IsJames Salter
is regarded as one of the finest living fiction writers by fellow writers and critics. The Bloomsbury Review called him “one of the best writers in this country,” and Publishers Weekly described him as “the author of some of the most esteemed fiction of the past three decades.”  At the age of 85, he is the author of a major new novel, All That Is (2013), about a naval officer who returns from the battles of World War II to make a life as book editor in bohemian New York. In advance praise, Tim O’Brien described the book as the “best novel I’ve read in years. Salter’s vivid, lucid prose does exquisite justice to his subject—the relentless struggle to make good on our own humanity. Once again he has delivered to us a novel of the highest artistry.” Edmund White calls it a “masterpiece…a smooth, absorbing narrative studded with bright particulars. If God is in the details, this book is divine.”

Bill Kennedy and James SalterSalter’s novels include Solo Faces (1988), Light Years (1975), A Sport and a Pastime (1967), The Arm of Flesh (revised edition published as Cassada, 2001), and The Hunters (revised edition, 1999). Of A Sport and a Pastime Reynolds Price, a critic for the New York Times Book Review said, “of living novelists, none has produced a book I admire more….In its peculiar compound of lucid and dark interior, it’s as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know.”  Novelist John Irving praised Solo Faces as “A terrific novel—compelling, sad, wise, and kindhearted. Mr. Salter's prose is rare and stunning.”

Author of two short story collections, Salter’s stories have been ranked alongside the work of Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, and Tennessee Williams. His story collections include Dusk and Other Stories (1988), which received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and Last Night (2005). The Washington Post Book World praised Last Night as “terrific fiction…. All of these stories share Salter’s exquisite prose, his talent for fitting gracefully between points of view, his uncanny ability to sum up a character in a single detail….These stories should be read and savored.” New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani said that Salter’s stories, “. . . can suggest in a single sentence, an individual’s entire history, the complex interplay of longing and fear, hope and need, that has brought about the present.”

James SalterSalter received the 2012 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Alan Cheuse, a member of the selection committee said, “Salter has shown us how to work with fire, flame, the laser, all the forces of life at the service of creating sentences that spark and make stories burn.” In 2011 Salter received the Paris Review’s Hadada Award, presented each year to “a distinguished member of the writing community who has made a strong and unique contribution to literature.” Under the aegis of the New York State Writers Institute, Salter was named New York State Author for 1998–2000.

Salter is also the author of two memoirs. Burning the Days (1997) recounts his rich and varied life, including his infatuation with poetry as a youth on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, his alienation as a cadet at West Point, his fifteen years in the military, his love affair with and long residency in Europe, and his career as a writer. Gods of Tin: The Flying Years (2004) focuses on with his years as a fighter pilot during the Korean War, drawing from a journal he kept at the time, from his first two novels, and from Burning the Days

Previous Visit: New York State Author, 1998-2000

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