Ruth Franklin in conversation with Ian Buruma, Laura Marsh, Katha Pollitt, and Tim Duggan.
Tuesday, October 19, 6 pm. A free online event. To register, click here.
from The Leon Levy Biography Center:
Recent literary scandals raise difficult questions for authors, publishers, and readers. Do they have an obligation to consider a writer’s personal conduct when making decisions about whether to publish or buy a book—or do they have an obligation not to? When Blake Bailey’s biography of Philip Roth was published last spring, many critics suggested Bailey had succeeded. Others questioned whether his portrayals of Roth’s relationships with women were fair-minded. Most lauded the book’s comprehensiveness and verve. All that changed within days when allegations surfaced in the media that Bailey had engaged in sexual misconduct. Amid the resulting scandal, Bailey’s publisher, W.W. Norton, announced it would stop selling the book.
Ruth Franklin is a book critic and former editor at The New Republic. Her first biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2016) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2016, a Time magazine top nonfiction book of 2016, and a “best book of 2016” by The Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, and others. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in biography, a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, and the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Laura Marsh is the literary editor of the New Republic, and co-host of the “Politics of Everything” podcast.
Tim Duggan is an executive editor at Henry Holt & Company, a division of Macmillan. The authors he has edited include Timothy Snyder, David Wallace-Wells, Michiko Kakutani, Karan Mahajan, Daniel Mendelsohn, William Boyd, Annie Dillard, and Uzodinma Iweala. The books he has edited include winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and many finalists for the National Book Award.
Katha Pollitt is a poet, essayist and columnist for The Nation. She has written for many magazines and published numerous books, most recently Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights and The Mind-Body Problem (poems).
Ian Buruma, a regular contributor to and former editor of the New York Review of Books, is the author of, among other works: Behind the Mask, God’s Dust, Playing the Game and Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance. Buruma has won several prizes for his books, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for Theater of Cruelty: Art, Film and the Shadows of War.