Deborah Treisman, fiction editor for The New Yorker, will discuss her work as an editor of fact and fiction with two of her writers, each of whom works in both genres: the Bosnian-American novelist and MacArthur fellow, Aleksandar Hemon and New Yorker staff writer and recently named Wellesley College Newhouse Visiting Professor of Creative Writing, Hilton Als. Held on Thursday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Collins Cinema, the conversation, followed by an open dialogue with the audience, is free and open to the public.
“We feel very lucky to have Hilton Als in residence here at the Newhouse for the year, and I’m grateful to him for designing this unusual program – one that promises some ‘inside baseball’ insights into editing, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into all good writing,” notes Carol Dougherty, Newhouse director.
Ever since The New Yorker debuted in 1925, the magazine has been noted for its reporting, strong critical voice, and groundbreaking fiction. In 2003, when Deborah Treisman became the magazine’s youngest fiction editor ever, she built on her predecessor’s achievements by bringing new voices to the fore. Miranda July, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Junot Díaz, are just some of the writers who have blossomed under Treisman’s tutelage. Treisman’s influence, however, is not solely restricted to fiction. She has also edited some of the magazine’s stellar non-fiction writers, including foreign correspondent Jane Kramer and television critic Nancy Franklin.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Deborah Treisman became fiction editor after joining The New Yorker’s fiction department at 27, serving as the deputy fiction editor from 1997 to 2002. Previously, she was the managing editor of Grand Street, and has been a member of the editorial staffs of The New York Review of Books, Harper’s andThe Threepenny Review. Hertranslations have appeared in The NewYorker, The Nation, Harper’s, and Grand Street.
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man (also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Love and Obstacles. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004.
A contributor of theater, visual art, and literary reviews for The New Yorker, Hilton Als was also a staff writer for Village Voice and editor-at-large for Vibe magazine. He is the author of The Women (1996), a meditation on gender, race, and personal identity, and The Group (2004), a discussion of James Baldwin and the black and Jewish intellectual worlds.
A staff writer at The New Yorker since October 1994, Als became a theatre critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for The Talk of the Town.
He has also written articles for The New York Review of Books and collaborated on film scripts for Swoon and Looking for Langston.
Als edited the catalogue for the Whitney Museum of American Art 1994-95 exhibition Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art. In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for Creative Writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. In 2009, Als worked with the performer Justin Bond, on Cold Water, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and videos by performers, at La MaMa Gallery. The next year he co-curated Self-Consciousness, at the Veneklasen Werner Gallery in Berlin. In 2010 Als published Justin Bond/JackieCurtis.
Als has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. In his new role as Newhouse Visiting Professor of Creative Writing for 2011-2012 he will teach courses at Wellesley College in short narrative and non-fiction writing, as well as an advanced writing workshop.
ABOUT THE NEWHOUSE CENTERFOR THE HUMANITIES
Founded in 2003 by a generous gift from Susan Marley Newhouse ’55 and Donald Newhouse, the Newhouse Center for the Humanities generates and supports innovative, world-class programming in the humanities and arts. The Newhouse Center’s mission is to create a dynamic and cosmopolitan intellectual community that extends from Wellesley College to the greater Boston-area community and beyond. For more information www.newhouse-center.org or call 781-283-2698.
Located just 12 miles from Boston and accessible by public transit, Wellesley’s idyllic surroundings provide a nearby retreat for the senses and inspiration that lasts well after a visit.
For driving and public transit directions to the campus, please visit web.wellesley.edu/web/AboutWellesley/.
ABOUT WELLESLEY COLLEGE & THE ARTS
The Wellesley College arts curriculum and the highly acclaimed Davis Museum and Cultural Center are integral components of the college’s liberal arts education. For decades, various departments and programs from across the campus have enlivened the community with world-class programming — classical and popular music, visual arts, theater, dance, author readings, symposia and lectures by some of today’s leading artists and creative thinkers — most of which are free and open to the public.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberalarts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from 50 states and 75 countries.