Gish Jen’s latest novel, World and Town,explores new starts and shifting American towns in what Publisher’s Weekly heralds as an “expansive story of identity and acceptance.” Hattie Kong loses her husband and best friend in the same year—”like having twins. She got to book the same church with the same pianist for both funerals and did think she should have gotten some sort of twofer from the crematorium.” Resettling in Riverlake, a town of family farms and Christian fundamentalists, she forges unexpected companionships with an ex-lover and the Cambodian American family living in a trailer next door. Named one of the best novelists writing in the US today by Elaine Showalter in The Guardian, Jen will be in conversation with Billie Tsien, the much lauded architect behind the Neuroscience Institute, the American Folk Art Museum, and Cranbrook.
Gish Jen is the author of three previous novels—Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, The Love Wife—and a collection of stories, Who’s Irish. The recipient of numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and a Mildred and Harold Strauss Living from American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is also a new member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Billie Tsien studied Fine Arts in Yale in 1971 and Architecture in UCLA. In 1986 she co-founded Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. In 2002 her design for the American Folk Art Museum, the first new museum built in New York in over three decades, won the Arup World Architecture Award for the Best Building in the World. Her office has also been the recipients of the Brunner Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Medal of Honor from the New York City AIA, the President’s Medal from the Architectural League of New York and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. Billie serves on the advisory council for the Wexner Prize, and is a Director of the Public Art Fund and of the Architectural League of New York.
$5 suggested donation. This event is open to the public.