Bard News & Events

Press Release


Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Edmund White, renowned novelist and cultural critic and award-winning biographer of French writer and playwright Jean Genet, will give a public reading of his latest novel, Fanny: A Fiction, at Bard College on Monday, March 8. White, author of critically acclaimed novels such as A Boy’s Own Story, non-fiction works such as Our Paris, and a biography of Jean Genet that was honored with the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award, will be introduced by novelist and Bard literature professor Bradford Morrow. The reading, which is being presented as part of Morrow's innovative course on contemporary fiction, is free and open to the public and takes place at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema in the Bertelsmann Campus Center.

Set in the 1820s and '30s, Fanny: A Fiction is a fictional biography of Fanny Wright, one of America's earliest feminists and a radical abolitionist who founded a utopian community called Nashoba in Tennessee. White tells Wright's story in a mock-biographical approach from the pen of the writer Frances Trollope, another historical figure who was an acquaintance of Wright's and whose scorching account of American fashions and mores, entitled Domestic Manners of the Americans, triggered a huge national outcry when it was first published in 1832. In Fanny, White offers humorous, yet sympathetic portraits of Wright, Trollope, and a range of historical figures from General Lafayette to Thomas Jefferson.

White is the author of many other books, including Forgetting Elena, Nocturnes for the King of Naples, Caracole, The Beautiful Room is Empty, The Farewell Symphony, and The Married Man. His nonfiction work includes The Joys of Gay Sex—An Intimate Guide for Gay Men to the Pleasures of Gay Lifestyle and States of Desire: Travels in Gay America. He is also the editor of The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction, The Jean Genet Reader, and Loss Within Loss: Artists in the Age of Aids.

A distinguished critic, White's book reviews have appeared in such publications as the New York Times Book Review, New York Review of Books, Washington Post Book World, The Nation, Los Angeles Times Book Review, and Vogue in the United States; and in The Observer, the London Review of Books, The TLS, Sunday Times (the United Kingdom); and in Le Monde des Livres and L’Express (France). Other articles and interviews have appeared in diverse publications all over the world, including Poetry, Artforum, English Painter, Parkett, The Advocate, Shenandoah, Time, The Paris Review, Christopher Street, The New Yorker, and various Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish magazines.

White's many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the award for literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1993 he was made a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. White is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University and has taught at several other institutions, including Columbia, Brown, Yale, and New York Universities.

For more information about the reading, call 845-758-1539.


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This event was last updated on 03-11-2004