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Steve Stern will give a reading April 3

March 31, 2014

Steve Stern will give a reading April 3

March 31, 2014

Steve Stern
Steve Stern

English Professor Steve Stern will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

A Skidmore faculty member since 1988, Stern is known for creating colorful characters that mine "the rich terrain of Eastern European Jewry," according to Fernanda Eberstadt of The New York Times (March 20, 2005). Stern's writing offers "a rollicking compendium of myth and historical tidbits, of dybbuks, wonder-working rebbes, and clandestine prayer houses where lapsed Talmud students meditate on the holy letters of God's name until they levitate," she added.

Stern’s most recent work is The Book of Mischief (2012, Graywolf Press), a collection of new and selected stories that showcases 25 years of outstanding writing by a true master of the short story. His stories take readers from the unlikely old Jewish quarter of the Pinch in Memphis to a turn-of-the-century immigrant community in New York; from the market towns of Eastern Europe to a down-at-the-heels Catskills resort. Weaving his particular brand of mischief from the wondrous and the macabre, Stern transforms us all through the power of his brilliant imagination. The book was among the "100 Notable Books of 2012" selected by The New York Times.

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His most recent novel, The Frozen Rabbi (2010, Algonquin Books), is an "epic novel" that provides "a wildly entertaining yet deeply thoughtful look at the burdens inherent in handing down traditions from one generation to the next," according to the publisher’s web site.

Jess Walter, reviewing the book in The Washington Post (June 22, 2010) wrote, “The book's 370 pages are packed to bursting with epic adventure and hysterical comedy, with grim poignancy and pointed satire, as Stern repeatedly shifts time and tone to craft a wildly entertaining tale of the 20th-century Jewish experience and the paradox of tradition.”

Stern’s honors include a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship (2006), a Fulbright (2004), the National Jewish Book Award (2000), the Pushcart Prize (1997 and 1999), a Pushcart Writer's Choice Award (1994), an O. Henry Prize, and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish-American fiction.

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