Reading Matters

Sensoria headliners: Amy Bloom, Ben Marcus

Amy Bloom
Amy Bloom Wesleyan University

Obviously, I’ve been missing out. I have never read Amy Bloom and Ben Marcus – the headliner fiction writers for this year’s Sensoria, a celebration of literature and the arts on the CPCC campus.

I will read them now. Not only because they’ll soon be in town. But how can you not want to read Amy Bloom, when she begins her 2014 novel, “Lucky Us,” with this sentence: “My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”

Bloom, who is this year’s Distinguished Irene Blair Honeycutt Lecturer and Author, will talk twice at Sensoria.

At 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, in the Halton Theater on the campus, she will talk about “A Good and Happy Life – and Why It’s Hard to Live One.”

That evening at 8 p.m., also in Halton, she will read from and discuss her literary work, especially her most recent novel, “Lucky Us.”

Or how can you not read Ben Marcus, when his 2015 short story in the New Yorker, “Cold Little Bird,” opens with a scene in which two devoted parents try to tuck their young son into bed only to be told that he doesn’t love them and no longer wants to be touched by them.

Marcus, also a novelist, teaches at Columbia University School of the Arts, and Bloom is currently writer-in-residence at Wesleyan University. Both have racked up awards and honors – an NEA and a Guggenheim for Marcus; Bloom has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award.

Marcus will talk twice on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, 11-12:15, he will talk in Tate Hall on the contemporary American short story. He is the editor of the anthology, New American Stories. In the evening, at the McColl Center, 721 N. Tryon, Marcus will read from and discuss his work. Cost: $5 in advance/ $7 at the door

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