If you are having any difficulty using this website, please contact the Help Desk at Help@nullHofstra.edu or 516-463-7777 or Student Access Services at SAS@nullhofstra.edu or 516-463-7075. Please identify the webpage address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered and we will address the issue.

Skip to Main Content
Great Writers, Great Readings
Join the #HofstraGWGR Conversation on Social

Great Writers, Great Readings Series

Fall 2020

17th Annual Great Writers, Great Readings Series

  • Martha McPhee

    Wednesday, September 23, at 6:30 p.m.
    Martha McPhee
    Virtual Event

  • Mary Norris

    Thursday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m.
    Mary Norris
    Virtual Event

Past Guest Authors

Great Writers, Great Readings was launched by Hofstra University in recognition of the importance of writing and literature in a liberal arts education. In addition to a baccalaureate degree in English and American Literature, creative writing, and publishing, Hofstra currently offers an MFA in Creative Writing. The MFA faculty currently includes director Miguel-Angel Zapata, authors Julia Markus, Kelly McMasters, and two Guggenheim Fellows: novelist Martha McPhee and poet Phillis Levin. Serving on the faculty of the new MFA in Creative Writing for Writers of Spanish are Professor Zapata and author Álvaro Enrigue.

Each Great Writers, Great Readings event brings a notable author to campus to meet with creative writing students for a short workshop and question/answer session. The author also conducts a reading and book signing that is open to the public. Sometimes the authors use this forum as an opportunity to introduce new, unpublished works.

Info: (516) 463-5669

Photos
Videos
Great Writers, Great Readings

Martha McPhee

17th Annual Great Writers, Great Readings Series – Spring 2020
Wednesday, September 23, at 6:30 p.m
Virtual event. For more information, please call 516-463-5669.

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.

×

Mary Norris

17th Annual Great Writers, Great Readings Series – Fall 2020
Thursday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m.

Virtual Event
For more information, please call 516-463-5669.

Mary Norris worked as a copy editor at The New Yorker for more than 30 years, an experience that formed the basis of her first book, Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (Norton, 2015), a New York Times bestseller. It was followed by Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen (Norton, 2019), which Booklist described as “a delicious intersection of personal essays, etymology, and travel writing.” Norris has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times Literary Supplement. She also created a series of videos for The New Yorker called “Comma Queen.”

×