Purchase College-SUNY will kick off the fall season of its Durst Distinguished Lecture Series with public readings and a conversation with authors Katie Kitamura and Hari Kunzru at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Humanities Theatre on the college’s Anderson Hill Road campus. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
The two novelists, who are husband and wife, are “both superb stylists and compelling storytellers,” said Anthony Domestico, assistant professor of literature at Purchase College. “Where Kitamura’s novels tend to be exquisitely controlled, Kunzru’s are endlessly proliferative.”
Kitamura’s first two novels, “The Longshot” in 2009 and “Gone to the Forest” in 2012, were finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. Her most recent novel, “A Separation,” was published this year.
Kunzru has published five novels, including this year’s “White Tears” and “Gods Without Men” in 2011, as well as a short-story collection. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Public Library and the American Academy in Berlin.
Purchase College officials said Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon also will be on campus this fall. The best-selling author was named the 2017-18 Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature.
Also visiting the college this fall will be Paul Beatty, whose 2016 novel, “The Sellout,” won the national Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and Great Britain’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Beatty, who teaches writing at Columbia University, was the first American to win the prestigious Booker Prize.
The Durst Distinguished Lecture Series and the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature are funded by the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature Endowment. College officials said the programs’ mission is to infuse the experience and intellect of leading writers into the Purchase community while providing diverse opportunities for those writers to interact with students and influence campus life.