Chang-rae Lee & W.S. Merwin
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Photo by Michelle Branca Lee
Chang-rae Lee is the author of the four novels: Native Speaker (1995), A Gesture Life (1999), Aloft (2004), and The Surrendered, which was published in March 2010. His novels have won numerous awards and citations, including the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the American Book Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, ALA Notable Book of the Year Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Literary Award, the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, and the NAIBA Book Award for Fiction. He has also has also written stories and articles for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time (Asia), Granta, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, and many other publications.
Chang-rae Lee was born in Seoul, Korea. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale, and the University of Oregon.
Click here to read more about Lee's writing approach in the classroom.
Photo by Mark Hanauer
W.S. Merwin was born in New York City and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. His father was a Presbyterian minister. He attended Princeton University, where he studied with John Berryman and R.P. Blackmur. Merwin spent a postgraduate year at Princeton studying Romance languages, an interest that would lead eventually to his much-admired work as translator of Latin, Spanish, and French poetry. After leaving Princeton, Merwin traveled to France, Spain, and England. He settled in Majorca in 1950 as a tutor to Robert Graves's son. Graves, with his interest in mythology, would become a primary influence on young Merwin.
Merwin's first book of poems won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for 1952, selected by W.H. Auden, who remarked in his introduction on the young poet's technical virtuosity. That volume, A Mask for Janus, is formal, neoclassical in style. For the next decade Merwin would regularly publish collections of intensely wrought, brightly imagistic poems.
Princeton Packet: W.S. Merwin, live from Maui. Renowned poet to revisit his alma mater