January 6, 2012 | Macaulay Honors College
The acclaimed novelist Richard Mason is the next writer slated to appear in the Knopf Doubleday Author Series at Macaulay’s historic building near Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. On Feb. 16 at 7 pm, Mason (The Drowning People – “A literary sensation,” The New York Times Book Review) will read from, discuss, and sign copies of his brilliant, naughty new novel, History of a Pleasure Seeker. (Books will be for sale at the event.)
“History of a Pleasure Seeker is an educated and refined novel, in which pleasures and gilded life are predominant.” – Italian Vanity Fair
“The operative word … is pleasure” – Publishers Weekly
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Richard Mason has produced an opulent, romantic coming-of-age drama set at the height of Europe’s belle époque. Written in the grand tradition yet with a lightness of touch that is modern and original, History of a Pleasure Seeker opens in Amsterdam, moves to New York during the 1907 financial crisis, and proceeds onboard a luxury liner headed for Cape Town. It is about Piet Barol, a young man with an instinctive appreciation for pleasure and a gift for finding it. Son of a dour administrator at Holland’s oldest university and a singing teacher who, before she died, gave him a thorough grounding in the arts of charm, Piet is hired by Europe’s leading hotelier as tutor to a troubled child who refuses to leave his family’s mansion on Amsterdam’s grandest canal. As the young man enters this glittering world, he learns its secrets—and soon finds his life transformed as he in turn transforms the lives of those around him. History of a Pleasure Seeker is a brilliantly rendered portrait of the senses, a novel about pleasure and those seeking it; those who embrace it, luxuriate in it, need it; and those who deprive themselves of it as they do those they love.
Reception and book-signing to follow.
“A wonderfully readable book. I kept going back to its charming pages drawn by the success story of this remarkably engaging young man.” Sheila Kohler, author of Love Child and Becoming Jane Eyre
Richard Mason was born in South Africa, educated in England and lives in New York. The author of three novels, his first, The Drowning People, published while he was still at Oxford, was an international best-seller and won the Grinzane Cavour Prize. In 1999, Mason started the Kay Mason Foundation, which awards scholarships to disadvantaged students in South Africa.
Macaulay is located at 35 West 67th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
Olga Barskaya, Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, 212/729-2910, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Zuckerman, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 212/572-2105, email@example.com
About Macaulay Honors College
The Class of 2014 was the tenth Macaulay Honors College class, and their admission marked the beginning of the college’s tenth anniversary celebrations. Macaulay recently admitted its largest class to date–the Class of 2015 with over 500 students and has seen a 35% increase in applications for the Class of 2016. Founded in 2001 by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Macaulay Honors College has already become one of the nation’s leading honors colleges, offering an exceptional academic and co-curricular environment for future leaders of New York City—and beyond. Macaulay students enroll in one of seven CUNY senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens, or Staten Island). Through the unique Macaulay advising program, each student develops a coordinated, individualized academic program that includes research, global learning, graduate and professional mentoring, community engagement, and close faculty-student collaboration. Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, Macaulay students are awarded a merit scholarship, giving them the freedom to pursue their academic goals without financial burdens. Macaulay further enriches students’ academic experience by providing a laptop and technology support, a $7,500 study grant to pursue global learning and service opportunities, and a Cultural Passport that provides access to more than 200 museums, libraries and other treasures around New York City. For more information about Macaulay Honors College, see macaulay.cuny.edu.