In Conversation: Hilma Wolitzer and Michael Cunningham
Tuesday February 21, 2012
Renowned authors Hilma Wolitzer (An Available Man) and Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall) came together to read from and discuss their books. Michael was also Hilma's student at the University of Iowa and the pair discussed the art of teaching (and learning!) writing.
Hilma Wolitzer is the author of several novels, including Summer Reading, The Doctor’s Daughter, Hearts, Ending, and Tunnel of Love, as well as a nonfiction book, The Company of Writers. She is a recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Columbia University.
About An Available Man
When Edward Schuyler, a modest and bookish science teacher, is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. It seems there are plenty of unattached women around, but a healthy, handsome, available man is a rare and desirable creature. The problem is that Edward doesn’t feel available. He’s still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and his familiar routine. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad on his behalf and Edward, torn between loyalty to Bee’s memory and his growing longing for connection, gradually and reluctantly begins “dating after death.”
Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), and Specimen Days. His latest novel is By Nightfall. He lives in New York.
About By Nightfall
Peter and Rebecca Harris: mid-forties denizens of Manhattan's Soho, nearing the apogee of committed careers in the arts--he a dealer, she an editor. With a spacious loft, a college-age daughter in Boston, and lively friends, they are admirable, enviable contemporary urbanites with every reason, it seems, to be happy. Then Rebecca's much younger look-alike brother Ethan (known in the family as Mizzy, "the mistake") shows up for a visit. A beautiful, beguiling twenty-three-year-old with a history of drug problems, Mizzy is wayward, at loose ends, looking for direction. And in his presence, Peter finds himself questioning his artists, their work, his career--the entire world he has so carefully constructed.