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Nicholson Baker and Karen Russell
Open Spring Reading Series at the Lewis Center for the Arts

(Princeton, NJ)  Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Program in Creative Writing, will open the spring Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series on Wednesday, February 25 with readings by Nicholson Baker and Karen Russell. The readings will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the James M. Stewart '32 Theater, located at the Lewis Center for the Arts at 185 Nassau Street.
The spring series, which takes place on select Wednesday afternoons, will begin with a clever pairing of old and new, the passionate and sometimes obsessive Nicholson Baker and the radiant young talent Karen Russell. Both writers demonstrate an enormous talent for descriptive insight. Baker is the author of seven novels, including Vox and The Mezzanine, and three previous works of nonfiction, including Double Fold, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001. Known for a measured writing style that de-emphasizes narrative drawing attention instead to minor moments through descriptive detail, his most recent work, Human Smoke (2008) explores a critical time in history a few years before the United States entered into World War II. The result, according to a New York Times review by Colm Toibin, “is a serious and conscientious contribution to the debate about pacifism. He has produced an eloquent and passionate assault on the idea that the deliberate targeting of civilians can ever be justified.” On the other hand, Karen Russell is just beginning to show us what she is capable of. A native of Miami, she has been featured in both The New Yorker's debut fiction issue and New York magazine's list of 25 people to watch under the age of 26. Russell’s debut, entitled St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, is a collection of stories that is only beautifully written and exuberantly imagined, but captures pure emotion in a way that challenges each of us to reflect on who we are and how we live.
The popular series, which has featured such esteemed writers as Mark Doty, Dave Eggers, Richard Ford, Louise Glück, Jhumpa Lahiri, Natasha Trethewey and Charles Wright, promises another season of impressive and engaging readings by established and emerging novelists, short story writers, translators and poets to Princeton. Click here for a full listing of spring reading series’ speakers. Unless otherwise indicated, all readings will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, located at the Lewis Center for the Arts at 185 Nassau Street. A reception will be held after each reading.  All readings are free and open to the public.

The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.

Media Contact

Marguerite d’Aprile-Smith
Director of Communications
Lewis Center for the Arts

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