17th Annual Great Writers, Great Readings Series presents Martha McPhee

Great Writers, Great Readings presents Hofstra Professor and Novelist Martha McPhee in conversation with creative writing alumni Robyn Gertner Doyno '07 and Kristin Allocco Fields '07. Professor McPhee's fifth novel, An Elegant Woman, explores one family’s story against the sweep of 20th century American history. Join Professor McPhee as she discusses her acclaimed novel and the craft of writing with former students.

Martha McPhee is the author of the novels An Elegant Woman, Dear Money, L’America, Gorgeous Lies, and Bright Angel Time.  Her work has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  In 2002 she was nominated for a National Book Award.  Her novels have been Best Books of The Year on The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune lists.  Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Newark Star Ledger, Vogue, More, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, Traveler, Travel & Leisure, among many others. McPhee is a tenured member of the English Department at Hofstra University, where she teaches fiction. She lives in New York City with her children and husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold.

Drawn from Professor McPhee’s own family history, An Elegant Woman is a story of discovery and reinvention, following four generations of women in one American family. As Isadora, a novelist, and two of her sisters sift through the artifacts of their forebears’ lives, trying to decide what to salvage and what to toss, the narrative shifts to a winter day in 1910 at a train station in Ohio. Two girls wait in the winter cold with their mother--the mercurial Glenna Stewart--to depart for a new life in the W​est. As Glenna campaigns in Montana for women’s suffrage and teaches in one-room schoolhouses, Tommy takes care of her little sister, Katherine: trapping animals, begging, keeping house, cooking, while Katherine goes to school. When Katherine graduates, Tommy makes a decision that will change the course of both of their lives.

A profound meditation on memory, history, and legacy, An Elegant Woman follows one woman over the course of the 20th century, taking the reader from a drought-stricken farm in Montana to a yellow Victorian in Maine; from the halls of a psychiatric hospital in London to a wedding gown fitting at Bergdorf Goodman; from a house in small town Ohio to a family reunion at a sweltering New Jersey pig roast. Framed by Isadora’s efforts to retell her grandmother’s journey--and understand her own--the novel is an evocative exploration of the stories we tell ourselves, and what we leave out.

Robyn Gertner has written for Seventeen Magazine and Publishers Weekly and published stories in Pithead Chapel and Newtown Literary.


Kristin Fields has published two novels, A Lily in the Light (2009) and A Frenzy of Sparks (2020).

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and MFA in Creative Writing Program, in collaboration with the Hofstra Cultural Center.

 
#HofstraGWGR

 

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Time: 6:30 p.m.

LocationVirtual Event; Advance registration required. Registrants will be sent an event link to attend prior to the event. 

Great Writers, Great Readings events is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669 or visit hofstra.edu/gwgr

This event is free, but advance registration is required. Please RVSP using the RSVP for this Event link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cost:

Free

Categories:

Location:

Hofstra University Virtual Event
Virtual
Offered online
Hempstead, NY 11549-1000


Contact:

Hofstra Cultural Center

Phone: 516-463-5669
Website: Click to Visit

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