NYPL Cullman Fellows Named
(New York, NY) 04/01/10 – The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers has selected its twelfth class of Fellows: fourteen exceptional creative writers, independent scholars, and academics. The Fellows, whose appointments were announced today by Library President Dr. Paul LeClerc and Jean Strouse, the Sue Ann and John Weinberg Director of the Center, will have full access to the unparalleled research collections and online resources of The New York Public Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. They will be in residence at the Center from September 2010 through May 2011,pursuing a wide range of book projects that will make extensive use of the Library's holdings.
The Cullman Center Class of 2010-2011 includes:
Four acclaimed fiction writers: David Bezmozgis, Maile Chapman, Mary Gaitskill, and Wells Tower; and a poet, Geoffrey Brock
Two China scholars: David Hinton, an independent writer and translator of classical Chinese poetry, and Michael Meyer, a journalist who writes on contemporary China
The New Yorker staff writer Larissa MacFarquhar
The graphic novelist and artist David Sandlin
The 2009 recipient of the National Humanities Medal: Annette Gordon-Reed, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
A number of other distinguished historians and
“This exceptional class of Fellows will serve as a wonderful tribute to the great generosity and wisdom of Dorothy and Lewis Cullman," said the Library’s President, Paul LeClerc. "Once they arrive, the Fellows are sure to take full advantage of the Library’s unparalleled holdings in this, the building's centennial year."
Jean Strouse, the Cullman Center’s Director, said, “I’m hugely looking forward to introducing this extraordinary group of writers and scholars to the Center and the Library – and to each other – next fall. It’s thrilling to see what personal
and intellectual magic sets in here each year.”
Each Fellow receives a stipend, office space with a computer in the Cullman Center’s handsome quarters on the second floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and the invaluable assistance of the Library’s curatorial and reference staff.
(For more information about the Center, its current and former Fellows, and its programs for teachers and the general public,visit www.nypl.org/csw.)
The Center fosters creative and scholarly conversation both within the Library and in the larger cultural context of New York, through informal lunches and public programs, and through
workshops and summer seminars for New York City middle and high school teachers.
Many Cullman Center Fellows have published critically acclaimed works based on the research and writing they did while in residence at the Library. Some recent books include David
Blight’s A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom; Jennifer Egan’s The Keep; Nathan Englander’s The Ministry of Special Cases; Paul Freedman’s Out of the East: Spices and the
Medieval Imagination; Linda Gordon’s Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits; Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason;Andrew Meier’s The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin’s SecretService, Danzy Senna’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night?; James
Shapiro’s Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?; Laurie Sheck’s A Monster’s Notes; T.J. Stiles’s The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt; and Edmund White’s Hotel de Dream.
This year the Center received 267 applications from 19 countries. A committee comprised of scholars, public intellectuals, and writers across a spectrum of fields selected the Fellows.
About the 2010-2011 Fellows Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
The Betrayers (novel)
David Bezmozgis is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. His first book, Natasha and Other Stories, was translated into more than a dozen languages and won the Commonwealth Writer’s
Regional Prize for First Book. Bezmozgis’ stories have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Harpers,Zoetrope All-Story, and The Walrus, and his first feature film,Victoria Day, had its premier in competition at the Sundance
Film Festival in 2009. At the Cullman Center David will be working on The Betrayers, a novel about a famous Russian Jewish dissident who, after the fall of the Soviet Union, meets the
man who denounced him.
Voices Bright Flags (poetry)
Geoffrey Brock is the author of the poetry collection Weighing Light. He edited the forthcoming Farrar Straus and Giroux Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry, and has translated Cesare Pavese's Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-1950. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, Brock teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arkansas. At the Cullman Center he will be completing Voices Bright Flags, a collection of poems about or in some way haunted by American historical events.
The Pink Church (novel, working title)
Maile Chapman is the author of Your Presence is Requested a Suvanto, a novel (April, 2010). She will be working at the Cullman Center on The Pink Church, a novel about Alzheimer’s disease, the challenges of caring for aging parents, and the
ways in which fear of illness can outweigh seemingly self-evident scientific fact.
The Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow
The End of the Seasons (novel, working title)
Mary Gaitskill is the author of three story collections, Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, and Don’t Cry, and two novels, Two Girls Fat and Thin and Veronica. At the Cullman Center she will be doing research for a novel set in ‘90s
Manhattan and upstate New York. Her research will focus on New York City history, the underground literary press, political coverage of the Middle East by the American media, and personal oral histories.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Wallace Stevens Professor of Law atNew York Law School and the Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark. She is author of Thomas
Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, the editor of Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History,and co-author with Vernon Jordan of Vernon Can Read! Her book
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for History and the 2008 National Book Award for General Non-Fiction. Professor Gordon-Reed was awarded the 2009 National Humanities Medal at the White House. At the Cullman Center she will work on the second and final volume of her biography of the Hemings family, tracing several lines up to the first decades of the 20th Century.
Elsewhere: Landscape and Consciousness (Essays)
Selected Poems of Mei Yao-ch'en (Translation)
David Hinton is an independent writer and literary translator of classical Chinese poetry. His most recent book is Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology (2008). He has translated the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: Tao Te Ching,Chuang Tzu, Analects, Mencius. In addition to translating the Sung Dynasty poet Mei Yao-ch’en during his time at the Cullman Center, he will be working on a book of essays about landscape and consciousness from the deep ecological perspective of ancient Chinese thought, with a special focus on how that perspective operates in our own everyday experience.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Dark Mirror: Jews, Vision and Witness, 1000 – 1500.
Sara Lipton teaches medieval history at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She is the author of Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the Bible Moralisee, which was awarded the John Nicholas Brown Prize by the Medieval Academy of America. She has written editorials and commentary on contemporary Israeli society and inter-religious relations for The Los Angeles Times, TomDispatch.com, and Alternet. At the Cullman Center she will be working on a book called Dark Mirror: Jews, Vision and Witness, 1000 – 1500, which will attempt to bring coherence to the dizzying proliferation of medieval Christian images of Jews.
The Dorothy Cullman Fellow
Larissa MacFarquhar is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she has written profiles of Barack Obama, John Ashbery, Noam Chomsky, and Paul Krugman, among others. Last year she wrote about several people who had each donated a kidney to a
stranger, and the complex, uneasy responses they encountered.At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a book that will expand on that piece, combining portraits of extremely virtuous people with a history of virtue and attitudes towards it.
In Manchuria: Life on a Rice Farm in China’s Northeast
Michael Meyer is the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing:Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed,which depicts the capital’s oldest neighborhood as the city remade itself for the 2008 Olympics. A Lowell Thomas Award winner for travel writing, Meyer has published pieces in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Book Review, Time, Smithsonian,The Financial Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. In 2009 he received the Whiting Writers’ Award. At the Cullman Center he will work on a nonfiction book combining history and reporting about a family’s organic rice farm in China’s far northeast.
The Birkelund Fellow
Seneca and Nero
James Romm is the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College, and chair of the Language and Literature Division there. He has published books on Herodotus, ancient geography, and Alexander the Great, and his history of the succession crisis following Alexander's death will be published by Knopf in 2011. Romm’s project at the Cullman Center is a book on the
extraordinarily complex and difficult relationship between the moral philosopher Seneca and his pupil Nero, who inherited rule of the Roman Empire at age 16.
Belfaust (graphic novel)
David Sandlin teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His illustrations and comics have been published in The Best American Comics 2009, The New Yorker, The New York Times,
and other publications, and his paintings, prints, books, and installations have been exhibited widely in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia. At the Cullman Center, he will work on a graphic novel called Belfaust, the culmination of his eight-volume artist’s book series, A Sinner’s Progress.
The Gilder Lehrman Fellow in American History
The God of the Green Mountains: On the Heterodox Origins of the American Revolution
Matthew Stewart is the author of The Courtier and the Heretic:Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World and Monturiol’s Dream: The Extraordinary Story of the Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the World. His essays have appeared
in The Atlantic, The Independent, The Big Money, and other publications. At the Cullman Center, Stewart will work on a book about the role of Deism in the founding of the United States. He will examine the philosophical and religious views
of, among others, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Thomas Young, and Ethan Allen, the leader of the Green Mountain Boys.
Andrew McConnell Stott
The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Fellow
Polly and Claire: Life in the Shadow of Byron and Shelley
Andrew McConnell Stott teaches English at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He is the author of Comedy and The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi: Laughter, Madness and the Story of Britain’s Greatest Comedian , which won the Royal Society of Literature/Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction and was serialized as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. At the Cullman Center he will use materials from the Pforzheimer Collection of
Shelley and His Circle to write a biographical study of two members of the Byron-Shelley group whose lives were irreversibly altered by their brush with fame.
The David S. Ferriero Fellow
Low Estate (novel)
Wells Tower is the author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, a collection of short fiction. His stories and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, GQ, and The Washington Post Magazine, among other
publications. Tower has received the Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review and two Pushcart Prizes; he was named Best Young Writer of 2009 by the Village Voice and is a finalist for the 2010 Young Lions’ Award at The New York Public Library. At the Cullman Center he will work on Low Estate, a novel that begins in the Great Depression and will end during the contemporary
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – housed, respectively, in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 87 neighborhood libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves more than 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and
services through the NYPL website, www.nypl.org.