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Kohler, Ping to read from work

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 4:30 p.m. Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Fiction writers Sheila Kohler and Wang Ping will read from their work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Both authors draw inspiration for their writings from the tumultuous political times of their childhoods. The South African-born Kohler, a lecturer in creative writing at Princeton, is the author of six novels. Her novel "Cracks" (1999) was chosen one of the best books of the year by Newsday and by Library Journal. Her most recent novel, "Bluebird or the Invention of Happiness" (2007), was described by author Lyndall Gordon as "a terrific achievement -- more graceful, more searching, more truly dramatic than most current fiction." Kohler also has written three books of short stories and is known for troubling, vivid tales of people trapped in perverse and abusive relationships.

Wang was born in Shanghai and spent a turbulent childhood on a small island in the East China Sea, witnessing the sweeping changes of China's cultural revolution. She has published two short story collections; a novel, "Foreign Devil" (1996); two poetry collections; a cultural study, "Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China" (2000); and a traditional Chinese folk tale, "Emperor Dragon" (2006). Wang's tales, which are sensual and sometimes sad, describe ordinary people dealing with tough times.

The event is part of the Althea Ward Clark Reading Series sponsored by the Program in Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts.

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