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Illuminated Lives: Josh Weil and Tina Chang

Wednesday October 4, 2017
07:00 pm

Tags: Event

 

Dayton Literary Peace Prize-winner and 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize finalist Josh Weil (The Great Glass Sea; The New Valley) is joined by Poet Laureate of Brooklyn Tina Chang (Of Gods & Strangers; Half-Lit Houses) to celebrate Weil’s new story collection The Age of Perpetual Light (Grove Press). This collection spans a decade of writing, and depicts a complex and diverse cast of characters through different eras in American history, from the early days of electrification to an imagined future of perpetual light.

 


About The Age of Perpetual Light

Following his debut Dayton Literary Peace Prize-winning novel, The Great Glass Sea, Josh Weil brings together stories selected from a decade of work in a stellar new collection. Beginning at the dawn of the past century, in the early days of electrification, and moving into an imagined future in which the world is lit day and night, The Age of Perpetual Light follows deeply-felt characters through different eras in American history: from a Jewish dry goods peddler who falls in love with an Amish woman while showing her the wonders of an Edison Lamp, to a 1940 farmers’ uprising against the unfair practices of a power company; a Serbian immigrant teenage boy in 1990’s Vermont desperate to catch a glimpse of an experimental satellite, to a back-to-the-land couple forced to grapple with their daughter’s autism during winter’s longest night.          

Brilliantly hewn and piercingly observant, these are tales that speak to the all-too-human desire for advancement and the struggle of wounded hearts to find a salve, no matter what the cost. This is a breathtaking book from one of our brightest literary lights.


Josh Weil is the author of the novel The Great Glass Sea; the novella collection The New Valley; and The Age of Perpetual Light, a story collection published in September 2017. A New York Times Editor’s Choice and Powell’s Indispensable selection, The Great Glass Sea won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the GrubStreet National Book Prize, and the Library of Virginia’s Literary Award in Fiction, and was short-listed for The Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. The New Valley won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New Writers Award from the GLCA, and a “5 Under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation. Weil’s short fiction has garnered a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Granta, Esquire, Tin House, and One Story, among others. He has written nonfiction for The New York Times, The Sun, Poets & Writers and Time.com. A recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, he has been the Tickner Writer-in-Residence at Gilman School, the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bowling Green State University, and the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, and has taught in the graduate programs at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Bennington College.


Tina Chang is the Poet Laureate of Brooklyn. The first woman named to this position, she was raised in New York City. She is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers (Four Way Books) and co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008) along with Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar. Her poems have appeared in American Poet, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, The New York Times among others. Her work has also been anthologized in Identity Lessons, Poetry Nation, Asian American Literature, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems and in Poetry 30: Poets in Their Thirties. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers, the Van Lier Foundation among others. She currently teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is an international faculty member at the City University at Hong Kong.