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Spring 2012 Raymond Carver Reading Series opens with novelist Rivka Galchen

January 17, 2012

Judyt Holmes
(315) 443-8085

Rivka Galchen, author of the critically acclaimed "Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel" (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008), will open the Spring 2012 Raymond Carver Reading Series at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Gifford Auditorium. The reading will be preceded by a question-and-answer session from 3:45-4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Syracuse University’s pay lots.

galchenAwarded the 2008 William J. Saroyan International Prize for Fiction, "Atmospheric Disturbances" is described as a “moving love story, a dark comedy, a psychological thriller and a deeply disturbing portrait of a fracturing mind.” The story’s protagonist is a 51-year-old psychiatrist, who believes his wife has been replaced by an identical impostor. During his search for his true love, the protagonist enlists the aid of a psychiatric patient who thinks he’s a secret agent, and a meteorologist, who is part of the fictional, quasi-paranormal Royal Academy of Meteorology. "Atmospheric Disturbances" was selected as a New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2008, a Top Ten Book of the Year, and a Slate Best Book of the Year.

“You don’t have to be a weatherman to see that Galchen’s brain-teasing book, whatever its pretexts, is an exploration of the mutability of romantic love,” writes New York Times critic Liesl Schillinger. “Anyone who has suffered the everyday calamity of the lessening of love, the infinitesimal diminutions of regard that drain a relationship of its power, knows what a relief it would be to blame science fiction. This cerebral, demanding, original new writer helps make the charges stick.”

Galchen is currently the Visiting Writer in Residence in the creative writing program in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. She holds a medical degree in psychiatry from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an M.F.A. from Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. She is a recipient of the 2006 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award for women writers and was named to the New Yorker’s 20 under 40 list of fiction writers in 2010. In spring 2011, she was the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fiction Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

Named for the great short-story writer and poet who taught at SU in the 1980s, the Raymond Carver Reading Series is a vital part of Syracuse’s literary life. Presented by the Creative Writing Program, the series each year brings 12-14 prominent writers to campus to read their works and interact with students.

Spring 2012 Series Schedule
The series will continue with the following authors. All readings begin at 5:30 p.m. in HBC Gifford Auditorium. Question-and-answer sessions are from 3:45-4:30 p.m. Further information is available by calling 315-443-2174.

Feb. 15: Santee Frazier G’09, an award-winning poet and citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He published his first book of poems, "Dark Thirty," in 2009.

March 7: Christopher Boucher G’02, managing editor of Post Road Magazine and adjunct faculty member at Boston College.

March 21: Ben Marcus, author of "The Flame Alphabet" (Knoph, 2012) and "Notable American Women" (Vintage, 2002) and associate professor in Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Marcus is the creative writing program’s 2012 Richard Elman Visiting Writer.

April 4: Jay Rogoff, author of "The Art of Gravity" (Louisiana State University Press, 2011) and a lecturer at Skidmore College.

April 25: Kelle Groom, author of "I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl" (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2011) and contributing editor for the Florida Review.

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