Admission and $10 off at our bookstore
Tuesday, 7:00 pm April 14, 2020
Carmen Boullosa’s The Book of Anna imagines the life of Anna Karenina’s son as he meets Tolstoy in his dreams and finds reminders of his mother everywhere, including the opium-infused manuscripts Anna wrote just before her death, which open a trapdoor to a wild feminist fairy tale. Join the author and writer Siri Hustvedt for a conversation about the ways the books we love grow in our imaginations.
This event is part of our On Reading series: What makes us return to stories we’ve read, sometimes again and again, and how do we make time for this life-enriching pleasure? On Reading is a passionate and motivating call to lead a well-read life.
Carmen Boullosa—a Cullman Center, a Guggenheim, a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and a Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes Fellow—was born in Mexico City in 1954. She’s a poet, playwright, essayist, novelist, and artist, and has been a professor at New York University, Columbia University, City College—City University of New York, Georgetown, and other institutions. She’s now at Macaulay Honors College—City University of New York. The New York Public Library acquired her papers and artist books. More than a dozen books and over ninety dissertations have been written about her work.
Siri Hustvedt is the author of a book of poetry, four essay collections, seven novels including The Blazing World, and Memories of the Future, and a work of nonfiction. Hustvedt has a PhD from Columbia University in English Literature and is a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities (2012). The Blazing World was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and won The Los Angeles Book Prize for Fiction 2014). In 2019, she was awarded the European Essay Prize from the Charles Veillon Foundation for The Delusions of Certainty, an essay on the mind/body problem, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the Princess of Asturias Award in Spain for the body of her work. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages. Hustvedt lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Book of Anna
By Carmen Boullosa
In this continuation of Anna Karenina’s legacy, Russia simmers on the brink of change and the stories that have long been kept secret finally come to light.
Saint Petersburg, 1905. Behind the gates of the Karenin Palace, Sergei, son of Anna Karenina, meets Tolstoy in his dreams and finds reminders of his mother everywhere: the vivid portrait that the tsar intends to acquire and the opium-infused manuscripts Anna wrote just before her death, which open a trapdoor to a wild feminist fairy tale. Across the city, Clementine, an anarchist seamstress, and Father Gapon, the charismatic leader of the proletariat, plan protests that embroil the downstairs members of the Karenin household in their plots and tip the country ever closer to revolution. Boullosa tells a polyphonic and subversive tale of the Russian revolution through the lens of Tolstoy’s most beloved work.
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