May 11, 2000 Geneva, NY – Acclaimed memoirist and essayist Patricia Hampl will visit the Hobart and William Smith campus on Wednesday, May 24. She will read from her newest book, I Could Tell You Stories, at 8 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. The book was a finalist for this year's National Book Critics Circle award. It is an astute and haunting collection of essays in which Hampl ponders her Czech and literary roots. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a dessert reception during which Hampl will be available to sign books.
I Could Tell You Stories is a timely gathering in which Hampl moves back and forth between a series of story-like recollections and essays as she considers how she has been enchanted by autobiographical writing. Subjects engaging Hampl's attention are her family's response to her personal writing, a secret that an old Czech emigre tries to confide in her, reflections on reading Whitman during the Vietnam War, the ethics of writing about family and friends, and the experience of reviewing Anne Frank's diary.
Hampl is the author of two highly regarded memoirs, Virgin Time and A Romantic Education, as well as two books of poems. Hampl has won many awards for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship. She is Regents' Professor at the University of Minnesota and lives in St. Paul.
In addition to her reading, Hampl will hold a question and answer session from 4 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, in Coxe 8 on the HWS campus.
Hampl's visit is co-sponsored by Hobart and William Smith's Writers Reading, the Faculty Speakers' Fund, and Poets & Writers, Inc., through a grant it received from New York State Council on the Arts.
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