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Friday, May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014: NeMLA Follow Ups: George Saunders

[About a month ago, I spent a wonderful weekend in Harrisburg for the 2014 Northeast MLA (NeMLA) Conference. As always, I came away inspired on a number of levels, and in this series I’ll share some of the conversations and voices that contributed to that inspiration. And in the weekend post, I’ll let you know how you can add your own voice and perspective to NeMLA as we move forward!]
On the funny and inspiring event that helped open the conference.
George Saunders is one of those contemporary authors I’ve wanted to read for a long time but just haven’t had the chance to dive into yet, so I was very excited when NeMLA landed him for our opening night creative reading and conversation. And he more than delivered, both in his reading (of part of the title story of his most recent collection, Tenth of December) and in the lively, thoughtful, and very witty subsequent question and answer session. I can imagine such an event lessening my interest in a writer and his works, but this one did exactly the opposite: pushed Tenth to the top of my summer pleasure reading to-do list. One of NeMLA’s great strengths is that it includes such creative performances and connections alongside its scholarly ones, and this inspiring event illustrated precisely why that’s so important.
Post on what’s next for NeMLA this weekend,
Ben
PS. Thoughts on these topics? If you were at the conference, other NeMLA follow ups?

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