‘Memoirs of a Muse’

Novel Jews

Published February 03, 2006, issue of February 03, 2006.
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Novel Jews is a critically acclaimed downtown reading series that presents provocative and enlightening new fiction and literary nonfiction by today’s literary superstars and by the emerging voices of tomorrow. The event is co-sponsored by the 14th Street Y and the Forward. This month, we present Lara Vapnyar and Ilana Stanger-Ross.

Lara Vapnyar emigrated from Russia to New York in 1994. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Open City, Harper’s Magazine, and Zoetrope: All-Story. In 2004, she received the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Foundation Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers and was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award for her acclaimed collection of short stories, “There Are Jews in My House.” Her new novel, “Memoirs of a Muse,” to be published in April by Pantheon, tells the story of a young Russian woman whose biggest dreams is to model her life after Apollinaria Suslova, Dostoyevsky’s lover and muse. When the heroine immigrates to the United States, she hopes to fulfill that ambition in New York.

Ilana Stanger-Ross has a Masters of Arts in English/fiction from Temple University. In recent years she has been awarded a Leeway grant and Toronto and Ontario arts council grants, and she has participated in the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop in Toronto, where she studied with David Bezmozgis. Her work has appeared in Lilith and in the Bellevue Literary Review, among other publications.

What: Acclaimed writer Lara Vapnyar and emerging writer Ilana Stanger-Ross read at Novel Jews monthly reading series.

When: Wednesday, February 8 (doors at 7 p.m.; readings begin at 7:30 p.m.), Admission is always free.

Where: KGB Bar 85 East 4th Street (between Second and Third Avenues), www.kgbbar.com

For more information, visit www.14StreetY.org or www.forward.com/noveljews, or contact Alyssa Abrahamson, director of Jewish adult and arts programs, the 14th Street Y, at Alyssa_Abrahamson@14Street Y.org.

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