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Jay Parini - September 27, 2010

Jay Parini

D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing, Middlebury College

"The Books That Changed America"

8:00 PM Monday, September 27, 2010
University Theatre

Jay Parini is a distinguished novelist, poet, biographer, and critic.  His 1990 novel about Tolstoy, The Last Station, inspired last year’s highly acclaimed film starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. The lecture will deal with the foundation texts that he thinks represent the soul of the American Republic from William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation to Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.

Please note: These lectures will not be posted online and a podcast will not be made available.

"The Passages of Herman Melville"

3:40 PM Monday, September 27, 2010
Gallagher Business Building 123

You are cordially invited to attend a seminar with Jay Parini, a distinguished poet, novelist, biographer, and critic. He did his graduate work at the University of St. Andrews, earning a Ph.D. there in 1975. He taught at Dartmouth College until 1982 and then began his long-time association with Middlebury College. He made his debut as a writer with Singing in Time (1972), a book of poetry. His other books of poetry include Anthracite Country (1982), Town Life (1988), House of Days (1998), and The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems (2005). Among his novels are The Love Run (1980), The Patch Boys (1986), The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy’s Last Year (1990), Bay of Arrows (1992), Benjamin’s Crossing (1996), and The Apprentice Lover (2002).  The Last Station was made into a motion picture in 2009. Directed by Michael Hoffman, it starred Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. He has written biographies of John Steinbeck (1995), Robert Frost (1999), and William Faulkner (2004). He has written or edited numerous books of criticism, including Gore Vidal: Writer against the Grain (1996), Some Necessary Angels: Essays on Literature and Politics (1997), and Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America (2008). An examination of the foundation texts that Professor Parini thinks represent the soul of the American Republic from William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation to Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, this book of splendid literary essays has become an international best-seller. He is a prolific author of textbooks and literary anthologies, including An Invitation to Poetry (1987) and The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature (4 vols., 2004). His most recent book, The Passages of H.M.: A Novel of Herman Melville (2010) will be the subject of the seminar.