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Writer Nathan Englander to Lecture at Northwestern

Literary luminary to give inaugural speech in Renée and Lester Crown Speaker Series

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October 31, 2012 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Nathan Englander -- named one of “20 Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker magazine -- will deliver the inaugural lecture of the Renée and Lester Crown Speaker Series Monday, Nov. 19, at Northwestern University. 

Englander, an award-winning novelist, short story writer, playwright and translator, will speak on “The Ownership of Identity or How I Came to Write My New Book,” at 6 p.m. at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. Sponsored by the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies, the lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. 

Translated into more than a dozen languages, Englander’s work has put him at the forefront of American contemporary literature. His latest short story collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,” was published to high acclaim early this year. Its title story earned the prestigious 2012 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. 

Englander’s first play, “The Twenty-Seventh Man” -- about imprisoned Yiddish writers who find warmth through stories amid the gloom of Stalinist Russia -- opens Nov. 7 at New York’s Public Theater. “For the Relief of Unbearable Urges,” his internationally best-selling collection of short stories, earned him a PEN/Malamud Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ 2000 Sue Kauffman Prize for First Fiction.

His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Atlantic Monthly. His short stories have been selected for “The O. Henry Prize Stories,” “The Pushcart Prize” and “The Best American Short Stories” anthologies. Englander also is author of “The Ministry of Special Cases,“ a novel.

A former Guggenheim Fellow, Englander translated the “New American Haggadah,” a 2012 translation of the Jewish Passover liturgy edited by Jonathan Safran Foer. He co-translated “Suddenly A Knock at the Door,” the most recent short story collection by world-renowned Israeli writer Etgar Keret.

To recognize Renée and Lester Crown’s generosity and leadership, a group of their friends donated a gift in their honor to the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The gift was used to launch the Renée and Lester Crown Speaker Series.

For further information about the lecture, email jewish-studies@northwestern.edu, call (847) 491-2612 or visit the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies website at http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/jewish-studies/events/.

Topics: People