Sewanee: The University of the South

Haines Lecture by novelist and poet Jay Parini

Convocation Hall

Tue, April 02, 2013 - 4:30 pm

Jay Parini

Jay Parini, poet, novelist, biographer and critic, will give the 2012-13 Haines Lecture at the University of the South. Parini will explore the topic of "Poetry as Scripture: Divine Reading," and the public is invited to attend.

Jay Parini has won international acclaim for his achievements in a diverse span of genres as novelist, poet, biographer, literary editor, and literary critic. His publications include five books of poetry, in addition to esteemed biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner. His many critical writings include Why Poetry Matters and Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America. He is also the author of eight novels, among them Benjamin’s Crossing, The Last Station, and The Passages of H.M. Parini writes for various publications, including The New York Times, the Guardian, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Parini's 2009 novel The Last Station was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy and Helen Mirren as his wife Sophia Tolstaya. In The Independent, critic Arifa Akbar wrote, “One may not have thought that the last days of a 19th-century Russian writer, decrepit with age, described from the point of view of his histrionic wife of 50 years, his disciple, assistant and doctor, all fighting over his estate, would be the stuff of popular historical fiction… The film has a lot to live up to, given the immense strength of the book on which it is based.”

Parini graduated from both Lafayette College and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he received a Ph.D. in 1975. He has been on the faculty at Middlebury College since 1982. For more information on this prolific and talented writer and thinker, see www.jayparini.com.

The Stacy Allen Haines Memorial Lectureship was established in memory of Stacy Haines, who became a Sewanee resident following his retirement from Sears, Roebuck and Co. in Chicago. It supports visiting lecturers and imaginative young writers the subjects of whose readings are pertinent to the English literature program.

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Sewanee: The University of the South