New York Stories

April 29, 2010 | The Morgan Library & Museum, Gilder Lehrman Hall | New York City

With Quim Monzó, Darryl Pinckney, Roxanna Robinson, and Colm Tóibín; moderated by Edwin Frank


Co-sponsored by The Morgan Library & Museum and NYRB Classics

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New York seen from up close and afar by three great writers who were inextricably attached to the city. Henry James, a native, left New York early and returned to it only late in life, but the city haunts his work. Edith Wharton is one of the great chroniclers of New York society, high and low. Elizabeth Hardwick, a transplanted Kentuckian, cast her keen eye on the life of the city in the latter half of the twentieth century, when it established itself as the intellectual center of American life. Distinguished contemporary novelists and critics Colm Tóibín, Roxana Robinson, and Darryl Pinckney, who have edited the New York stories of, respectively, James, Wharton, and Hardwick, and the contemporary Catalan writer Quim Monzó, who set his novel in New York, all consider the city and the stories it has inspired.


• Ellis Avery: Someone in the audience asked Quim Monzo if, because Catalan, his native language, was suppressed for decades, his experience growing up watching American movies represented freedom to him. Those are two separate questions, he replied. [more]

• Jan Castro: The best part of this program was when Quim Monzo put down Ernest Hemingway and Darryl Pinckney stood up for him. [more]

• Jane Ciabattari: Thursday evening PEN World Voices spread out. As I sat in the front section of the Morgan Library auditorium, I knew there were whirlwinds of words circling over Manhattan and at least one other borough. [more]

• Ronald Fried: I can’t attend a literary evening without recalling Elizabeth Hardwick’s comment that the only thing she ever learned from a poetry reading concerned the physical condition of the poet at the time of the event. [more]

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