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Wayne Koestenbaum to present

March 30, 2012

Wayne Koestenbaum to present "A Guided Tour of My Life"

Wayne Koestenbaum

Wayne Koetsenbaum
(Photo by Heike Steinweg)

Author Wayne Koestenbaum will present "A Guided Tour of My Work and My Secret Life" Thursday, April 5, at Skidmore. Free and open to the public, the lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in the Surrey Williamson Inn on North Broadway, across from the main entrance to Skidmore. The college's English Department is sponsor of the event. 

Koestenbaum, author of The Queen's Throat, Cleavage, Jackie Under My Skin, Warhol, Humiliation, and other works of memoir and non-fiction, will reveal how and why he writes, advise others on how and why they might write, and discuss such topics as the relation between personal essays and memoir, the meaning of "greatness" in non-fiction, and the role of models and masters in creating a personal style.

A distinguished professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center, Koestenbaum is also a poet of extraordinary invention and wit, whose volumes of poetry include Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Ode to Anna Moffo, and Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender.

His best-known work is still The Queen's Throat, a book that studies the predilection of gay men for opera and is, like much of his work, "psychologically astute, verbally pyrotechnic, bottomlessly provocative, surprisingly funny and sometimes immensely sad," writes critic David Shields. But then just about everything Koestenbaum writes is "full of surprise and wit and invention" and leaves the reader "breathless," according to Tom Disch of The Washington Post Book World.

Koestenbaum's most recent book of non-fiction is The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, which provides an anatomy of Harpo's films, with improbable excursions into the work of Walter Benjamin and Barbra Streisand, among others. He is a frequent visitor to the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore and a frequent contributor to the pages of Salmagundi, the literary magazine published at Skidmore.

 

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