||Dan Stolar read some of his new fiction, entitled “Hymie and Ruth,” on Tuesday May 25, 2010. Josh Covell, an MAWP student, writes his thoughts on the new story. Josh is graduating from the program in June.
With a whiteboard of Yiddish translations behind him, Professor Dan Stolar was brave enough to give a reading of his new fiction piece, the as-yet-unpublished “Hymie and Ruth.” From the moment he started to read aloud, it was apparent that he had captured a familiarity and bittersweetness with the titular elderly characters Hymie and Ruth Schoenberg. Hymie, who feels the effects of his impaired mental state daily, and Ruth, who struggles to keep up with her husband physically, both feel lived in, full and rich. They read like family–Professor Stolar’s or even our own–thanks to the striking level of personal detail in each of the characters. They wade through genuine moments of contentment and restlessness, humor and heartache: Hymie cracks wise and spouts dated one-liners; Ruth plays along with her husband’s delusions (and takes advantage of his dementia) when she ghostwrites romantic letters that Hymie thinks are from another woman. There is comedy there, sure, but there is also the harsh, sad realization that time has caught up with them. These two characters continue to suffer their physical and mental obstacles to just maintain a little happiness and normalcy between them, and each piece of their relationship works beautifully together.
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Tonight, Professor Susan Harris will be reading from The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, a wonderful new collection that she co-edited. This is the final event of the year for the Visiting Writers Program, organized by Professor Miles Harvey.
All should consider attending!
Thursday, May 20
Thomas P. Levan Center, Room 505
2322 North Kenmore
Susan Harris is the editorial director of Words Without Borders, which translates, publishes, and promotes the finest contemporary international literature. With Ilya Kaminsky, she edited The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, which the acclaimed poet Edward Hirsch hailed as “a modern book of wonders.” Harris is the former director and editor in chief of Northwestern University Press, where she founded the Hydra imprint in literature in translation. She teaches at DePaul.
Professor Christine Sneed’s story “The Prettiest Girls” was recently accepted for publication in Ploughshares. Congratulations!
Sneed teaches ENG 484: Writing the Wondrous World of the Everyday in Fall Quarter 2010.
Ex Libris, DePaul’s Graduate English Newsletter, is making a move to WordPress and the blogosphere. Stay tuned for more updates as Molly, the graduate assistant, figures all this stuff out. For now, you can find out about events, classes, and news at the old Ex Libris site here.
As you can see, our Flickr page is linked here. Look at all the fun conferences and activities students in the MAE and MAWP are involved in!