This will be a particularly good year for literati, to judge from
the 28th season of Queens College Evening Readings
that has been orchestrated by its founder and director, Joseph Cuomo.
Nine distinguished writers will take part in the readings, which are
held in the College’s Music Building on six Tuesday evenings spread
over the academic year (all begin at 7 P.M.).
|Doris Lessing, most recently the author of The
Sweetest Dream. Photo, Ingrid Von Kruse.
The eminent Romanian writer, Norman Manea, a survivor
of Nazi prison camps and of the Ceaucescu regime, opens the series on
November 12. A Hooligan’s Return, a memoir about his
recent return to his homeland, received wide acclaim, notably from Ariel
Dorfman, who praised its “caustic dexterity and lyrical power.”
The novelist and short-story writer Edna O’Brien—whom
Philip Roth has called “the most gifted woman now writing fiction
in English”—follows on November 25. Norman Rush,
the author of the National Book Award-winning story collection Whites
and the novels Mating and Mortals, appears February 24, 2004. March
16 brings Doris Lessing, one of the most eminent postwar
English novelists. All of these first four readings will include an
interview by New York City’s nonpareil literary questioner, Leonard
A reading on March 30 will pair Mary Gordon and Jhumpa
Lahiri, the latter having just won the Pulitzer Prize for her
collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies. The season culminates
on May 4 with a round table on the art of writing with a Booker Prize
winner, A.S. Byatt, Queens College’s own emerita poet
Marie Ponsot, and Elaine Scarry, the distinguished
interdisciplinary thinker and author of such books as The Body in
and On Beauty and Being Just.
Admission to the readings is $10 (season tickets are discounted); entrance
is free for CUNY students with ID (for information, 718-997-4646 or