nys writers logo


Laura van den Berg, photo by Paul YoonBookmark and Share

Laura van den Berg


NYS Writers Institute, Thursday, April 21, 2016
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany

Laura van den Berg, author of two short story collections, will read from her debut novel, Find Me (2015), on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library, on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the New York State Library.

Laura van den Berg
is the author of two acclaimed short story collections and the debut novel Find Me (2015).

Van den Berg received the Pushcart Prize for the title work in her first story collection What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (2009). The collection was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection. Publishers Weekly described the stories as “meticulously crafted…These tales are the work of a notable author finding her voice.” The Booklist reviewer called the stories “Stunning, desolate, and unforgettable.”

Find MeThe Isle of Youth, van den Berg’s second collection, won the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and the Bard Fiction Prize, and was named a “Best Book of 2013” by over a dozen venues, including NPR, The Boston Globe, and O The Oprah Magazine. The stories explore the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. John Williams, who reviewed the book for the New York Times, called the stories “Confident, gripping,…Ms. Van den Berg spins complex plots around a sense of emotional emptiness. Her stories are bursting at the seams, while her characters are lonely to the core.” Kirkus called The Isle of Youth “A mesmerizing collection of stories about the secrets that keep us.”

Laura Van den BergVan den Berg’s most recent book is the highly anticipated debut novel Find Me (2015), an imaginative, darkly funny story of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world as a plague sweeps the country. Elizabeth Hand, in a Los Angeles Times review praised the novel’s “radiant prose…From [its] memorable first paragraph to its enigmatic ending, Laura van den Berg has invented something beautiful indeed.” Salon reviewer Claire Cameron said “Find Me is being compared to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. While it stands up to such fine company, I’d argue that van den Berg has a style, humor and grit that is all her own.” Find Me was selected as a “Best of 2015” by NPR, Time Out New York, Buzzfeed, and Booklist, among others, and was a Kirkus 11 Brand-New Books You Shouldn’t Miss” selection.

Van den Berg received her M.F.A. at Emerson College. She has taught creative writing at Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, The American Academy in Paris, George Washington University, Colby College, and in the M.F.A. Programs at Emerson College and Columbia University. Beginning in the fall of 2016, she will be a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard.

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