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Joanna Scott: Excuse Me While I Disappear
July 22, 2021 @ EST 7:30 pm - 8:15 pmFree
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Joanna Scott turns her “incandescent imagination” (Publishers Weekly) back to the craft of the short story, with breathtaking results. Ranging across history from the distant past to the future, Scott tours the many forms our stories can take, from cave wall paintings to radio banter to digitized archives, and the far-reaching consequences of our communications.
In Venice in the Late Middle Ages, a painter’s apprentice finds a way to make his mark on canvases that will survive for centuries. In the near future, after the literary canon has been preserved only on the cloud and then lost, a scholar tries to piece together a little-known school of writers committed to using actual paper. In present day New England, a radio host invites his electrician to stay for dinner, opening up new narrative possibilities for both men.
Written in prose so naturally elegant, smooth, and precise that it becomes invisible, Excuse Me While I Disappear asks what remains of our stories—as individuals and civilizations—after we are gone.
Joanna Scott is the author of 10 novels, including Arrogance, a PEN-Faulkner finalist; The Manikin, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Follow Me, a New York Times Notable Book. She also has published two collections of short fiction, Various Antidotes and Everybody Loves Somebody. Her awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ambassador Book Award from the English-Speaking Union, and the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Scott is the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English at the University of Rochester.
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