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Thalia Book Club: The Rings of Saturn
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.




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+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/11/2015 at Symphony Space.

Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), Dinaw Mengestu (All Our Names), and Hari Kunzru (Gods Without Men) lead a spirited conversation of Sebald's classic. Denis O'Hare (American Horror Story) will read an excerpt.

"Is literary greatness still possible? One of the few answers available to English-language readers is the work of W.G. Sebald." -Susan Sontag

+ About the Artists

Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions, and Gods Without Men, as well as the novella Memory Palace and a short story collection, Noise. His work has been translated into twenty-one languages and has won him prizes including the Somerset Maugham award, the Betty Trask prize of the Society of Authors, and a British Book Award. In 2003 Granta named him one of its twenty best young British novelists. Lire magazine named him one of its 50 Writers for Tomorrow. He is a past Deputy President of English PEN, a patron of the Refugee Council, and a member of the editorial board of Mute magazine. His short stories and journalism have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Times of India, Wired, and New Statesman.

Dinaw Mengestu is the award-winning author of three novels including The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, How to Read the Air, and most recently, All Our Names. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University’s M.F.A. program in fiction. He is also the recipient of a 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation and a 20 Under 40 award from The New Yorker. His journalism and fiction have appeared in such publications as Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. He received a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

Rick Moody is the author of ten books including the novels Garden State, The Ice Storm, Purple America, The Diviners, which received the Mary Shelley Award from the Media Ecology Association; and most recently, Four Fingers of Death. His collections of short fiction include The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven, the title story of which won the Aga Khan Award from The Paris Review; Demonology; and Right Livelihoods: Three Novellas. He also wrote The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions, for which he won the NAMI/Ken Book Award, and the PEN Martha Albrand prize for excellence in the memoir. Most recently, he published On Celestial Music and Other Adventures in Listening, a collection of essays about music. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the co-founder of the Young Lions Book Award at the New York Public Library.

Denis O’Hare has appeared in such films as Milk, for which he won the Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble; A Mighty Heart; Michael Clayton; Duplicity; 21 Grams; Garden State; Half Nelson; and Changeling. He won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in Sweet Charity. His recent television appearances include American Horror Story, True Blood, and The Good Wife, and he will appear in the upcoming FX series The Comedians with Billy Crystal and Josh Gad. He is the co- writer, with Lisa Peterson, and star of An Iliad, which was performed at the New York Theatre Workshop and The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. He and Peterson have also co-authored a play about the bible, The Good Book, which will premiere at the Court Theatre in Chicago in March of this year. He most recently appeared in Dallas Buyers Club, The Normal Heart on HBO, and the films The Judge and The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

W.G. Sebald (1944-2001) was born in Wertach im Allgäu, Germany. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland, and Manchester. He taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, for thirty years, becoming professor of European literature in 1987, and from 1989 to 1994 was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. His books The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants, Vertigo, and Austerlitz have won a number of international awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, the Berlin Literature Prize, and the Johannes Bobrowski medal. His other books include After Nature, Campo Santo, and On the Natural History of Destruction. He died in an automobile accident in Norfolk, England near his home in Norwich on December 14, 2001.

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