Dispatches from Syria: Janine di Giovanni

by Sarah Glazer

Newsweek Middle East Editor Janine di Giovanni discussed her new book about the conflict in Syria, The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria. Janine di Giovanni is a war correspondent and a contributing editor for Vanity Fair. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, and a current Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Autobiography in Truth and Fiction: Rachel Cusk

Autobiography in Truth and Fiction: Rachel Cusk in conversation with Catherine Temma Davidson

by Sarah Glazer

Rachel Cusk has been called by the New York Times “One of the smartest writers alive.” Her novels and nonfiction explore the great themes of our lives: marriage, motherhood, relationships, the tensions in the lives of women between private selves and public mythologies. Named by Granta in 2003 as one of the 20 best Young British novelists, she has published eight novels and three controversial memoirs.

Her new book, Outline, is an innovative masterpiece of autobiographical fiction that offers insight after insight in beautifully lucid prose. In a recent Guardian interview, Cusk asserted that “autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts”—a strong statement from a writer who never shies away from controversy. Our November Salon offers an opportunity to hear from one of the leading writers in the UK talk about her work and how she sees the fictional landscape today.

Catherine Temma Davidson is the author of The Priest Fainted, called by Amanda Craig “the most enchanting book about Greece since anything by Lawrence Durrell.”

Vesna Goldsworthy and Eva Hoffman

By Sarah Glazer

Vesna’s satirical novel Gorsky is about a Russian oligarch who builds a mansion on the Thames. The book, which openly uses the Great Gatsby as its model, deals with themes of power, money, love and London real estate. Vesna is a Serbian writer and poet who teaches writing and literature at Kingston University. Eva Hoffman is the author of the renown memoir, Lost in Translation.

World War I Salon: Kate Williams, Clare Clark, and Nicola Beauman

By Jenny McPhee

A salon with a World War I theme–two salon members and historical novelists, Kate Williams and Clare Clark in conversation with Nicola Beauman of Persephone Books, which has published novels written at the time. Kate’s new novel is called The Storms of War and Clare’s is entitled We That Are Left. The discussion emphasized domestic life on the home front.

Poetry and Science: Ruth Padel, Lavinia Greenlaw and Emily Grosholz

Three poets discuss the value and practice of interweaving two distinct cultures. Speakers: Ruth Padel and Lavinia Greenlaw in conversation with Emily Grosholz

Ruth Padel is a poet, novelist and conservationist, who has explored natural science subjects in poetry and prose. Her poetry-prose book The Mara Crossing asks why do animal species migrate–and why do we? Ruth has also explored scientific themes in her poetry collection Darwin: A Life in Poems and in Tigers in Red Weather, about wild tiger conservation. Her tenth poetry collection Learning to Make an Oud In Nazareth was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. She teaches poetry at King’s College London.

Lavinia Greenlaw has published five collections of poetry, including Minsk and The Casual Perfect, and several novels. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Royal Society of Medicine and wrote a poem marking the centenary of the Theory of Relativity for the Science Museum. She has made documentaries on the Arctic, the Baltic, Emily Dickinson, the darkest place in England and the solstices and equinoxes. She won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

Emily Grosholz is a poet, philosopher and literary critic. She teaches philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, where she specializes in philosophy of physics and mathematics. Her most recent scholarly book is Representation and Productive Ambiguity in Mathematics and the Sciences. She has recently been working on case studies in cosmology, population genetics, and number theory. Her seventh poetry collection, Proportions of the Heart, is a book of mathematical poems that also weaves in themes of emotion and family. She is an advisory editor for the Hudson Review, where she often writes literary criticism and travel essays.