US Novelists Kick off NYU Shanghai Literary Series, Draw Big Crowds

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The Literary Reading Series at NYU Shanghai, a project of the Writing Program, brings acclaimed writers from around the world to our Shanghai campus.

The NYU Shanghai Literary Reading Series made a cracking start to its 2016 Spring schedule with events featuring two American novelists: Jess Row, author of Your Face in Mine, and acclaimed US journalist, documentarian and filmmaker Leslie Cockburn, who read from her debut foray into fiction, Baghdad Solitaire.

Row read to a packed 15th floor lounge the evening of March 10 and Cockburn did the same on March 16, before conversing with audience members during lively Q&A discussions led by NYU Writing Program Lecturer Chidelia Edochie.

Upcoming LRS events include Rob Schmitz’s Street of Eternal Happiness, an in-depth exploration of the lives, struggles, joys and histories of the residents living the old Shanghai street that Schmitz, a US public radio correspondent, has also called home for years (April 14), and three English-Chinese bilingual events in April and early May focusing on recent works in Chinese and English by contemporary poets, fiction writers, and translators from China, the US, and Hong Kong. (Schedule details.)

In radically different – and inventive – ways, Row and Cockburn target crisis points and trace lines of stress and fracture that originate in the USA and run throughout the world, shaping and driving cultural, sociopolitical and economic transformations in this century of globalized crisis.

Cockburn, a long-time international war correspondent, examines the violent heart of what she called American “empire” in war-shredded Iraq through the tale of a doctor’s desperate search for a disappeared humanitarian aid worker, while Row grapples with urgent matters of conflicted racial identity, self-alienation, and radical technological change in a work of a just-around-the-corner speculative fiction in which “racial reassignment” is on the verge of hitting the global market.

The visiting writers also worked directly with NYU Shanghai students as part of their visits. Row led a fiction workshop open to all interested students, and Cockburn spoke with creative writing students about her life as a crisis-zone reporter and her recent turn to fiction in Writing Lecturer David Perry’s “Forms of the Personal Narrative” creative writing workshop.
Perry founded the Literary Series at NYU Shanghai in the fall of 2015, continuing in the tradition of the 2014-15 Tea W/ords reading series.

LRS@NYU is a project of the NYU Shanghai Writing Program.

View the complete Spring 2016 LRS@NYU Schedule for upcoming events.

The Spring 2016 Literary Reading Series is curated by Perry, Edochie and NYU Shanghai Director of External and Academic Events, Constance Bruce.