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Toni Morrison and Marlene van Niekerk in Conversation with Anthony Appiah


May 1, 2010 | The Great Hall, Cooper Union | New York City

With Toni Morrison and Marlene van Niekerk; moderated by K. Anthony Appiah

Co-sponsored by Cooper Union

LISTEN | Download the mp3

Marlene van Niekerk is best known for her novel Triomf, a darkly comic and controversial depiction of post-apartheid South Africa, written in her native Afrikaans. Of her latest novel, Agaat, Toni Morrison has said, “I was immediately mesmerized.… Its beauty matches its depth and her achievement is as brilliant as it is haunting.” On this special occasion, the Nobel Prize-winning author of such novels as Beloved, Sula, Song of Solomon, and most recently A Mercy, talks with her South African colleague about politics, language, literature, and more. K. Anthony Appiah, PEN American Center president and the author of Cosmopolitanism and many other books, conducts the conversation between these eminent and engaged writers.

• View the photo gallery on Flickr


• Jane CiabattariPEN president K. Anthony Appiah was the eloquent master of ceremonies on Saturday afternoon, unruffled despite flaws in the sound system, as the venerable and stately Toni Morrison, reigning US Nobel laureate, in a remarkable show of writerly generosity, came onstage…[more]

• Dedi Felman: Picture an editor desperately scribbling at her desk. She’s drafting a “sell sheet” for a book for which she hopes to gain her publishing colleagues’ support. [more]

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