The conversations kick off on June 27, 2023, with James Shapiro discussing Shakespeare in a Divided America, a New York Times “Ten Best Books of 2020” selection. July 18, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff will discuss The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams. National Book Award winner Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, will appear on August 1. The series concludes on August 29, with Neil Gaiman, prolific author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theater, and films. The events are free, but space is limited so registration is required to attend. (Register at authorsguild.org/pascal-hall-author-series).
“We are delighted to expand the Pascal Hall Series this year,” said Linda Lesher, owner of Barnswallow Books and Pascal Hall. “The pilot series in 2022 was a huge success, with standing-room-only crowds and two outstanding authors—novelist Lauren Groff and historian Ted Widmer. We’re thrilled with the diverse lineup of the expanded 2023 series, which will run from late June to late August.”
James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. In 2011, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the author of many books including Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare; Shakespeare and the Jews; Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play; and1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, which was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best nonfiction book published in Britain. His latest book, Shakespeare in a Divided America, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction. He is currently Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at the Public Theater in New York City.
Shapiro will speak with Caroline Bicks, the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature at the University of Maine. Bicks teaches and writes about Shakespeare and gender. She is the author of Cognition and Girlhood in Shakespeare’s World and the co-author of Shakespeare, Not Stirred: Cocktails for Your Everyday Dramas.
Award-winning and bestselling author Stacy Schiff uses brilliant storytelling to bring to life some of history’s most enigmatic individuals. Her books include Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry: A Biography, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; Cleopatra: A Life, winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of multiple awards. Schiff’s book, The Witches: Salem, 1692, was hailed by The New York Times as “an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative.” The Wall Street Journal has called her “perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time.”
Schiff will discuss her newest book, The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, a revelatory biography of arguably the most essential Founding Father, with Robin Lloyd. Lloyd is a journalist and the author of two novels, Rough Passage to London and Harbor of Spies. He has been involved in television journalism for more than forty years, working on camera as both a news reporter on the local and national level as well as a producer and writer. A veteran correspondent for NBC News for nearly fifteen years, he filed reports from more than thirty countries, mostly in Latin America and Africa.
Sigrid Nunez is the author of Sempre Susan, a memoir about her mentor, friend, and inspiration, Susan Sontag; Salvation City, a novel about a global flu pandemic seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy; The Last of Her Kind; For Rouenna; Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury; and A Feather on the Breath of God, a coming-of-age novel. She has won many honors and awards, including a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Art and Letters: the Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature. She also received a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her latest novel is What Are You Going Through?
Nunez will converse with Christina Baker Kline, the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The Exiles, Orphan Train, and A Piece of the World. She has received the New England Prize for Fiction, the Maine Literary Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, among other prizes, and her books have been chosen by hundreds of communities, universities, and schools as “One Book, One Read” selections. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in publications such as The New York Times and The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Lit Hub, Psychology Today, and Slate.
Laura Miller will return in her role as interlocutor to talk with Neil Gaiman about his prolific and multi-faceted career. Gaiman, an internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed writer, has received countless awards for his graphic novels, works of fiction, and screenplays. He was awarded both the 2009 Newbery Medal and 2010 Carnegie Medal in Literature and was the first author to receive both medals for the same novel (The Graveyard Book). His more famous works include Coraline and the comic series Sandman, which has received nine Eisner Awards and has been described by Stephen King as having turned graphic novels into art. He is a passionate advocate for books and libraries, and a supporter and former board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. In 2017, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, appointed Gaiman as a global Goodwill Ambassador.
Miller is the books and culture columnist at Slate and co-founder of Salon.com. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications, including The New York Times Book Review, where she wrote the Last Word column for two years. She is a co-founder of Word, a literary festival in Blue Hill, Maine.
For more information, contact Lynn Boulger at 207-669-2566 or [email protected].
The original press release can be found here.