August 29, 2012

Retired Cornell English Professor Named New York State Author

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo named Prof. Emeritus Alison Lurie, English, the 2012-14 New York State Author on Wednesday.Authors selected for this post inspire and advance creative writing through public readings in New York State, according to a University press release. Previous authors selected for this post have included Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ’44. Lurie was a professor in the Department of English from 1968 to 1988. She beat out other distinguished authors, such as Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Lorrie Moore M.F.A. ’82 for the prestigious title. She has written 10 fiction books, including Foreign Affairs, published in 1984, for which she received the Pulitzer Prize. Although most of her work is fiction, she has also written children’s books and nonfiction works analyzing the magnitude of children’s literature and its relation to global literacy and culture.“I am delighted and honored by this award from the state where I have spent most of my life, a state that has been the home of so many great writers as well as enthusiastic and dedicated readers,” Lurie said in a University press release.Lurie has written about a wide variety of topics, including “marital strife, domestic disorder and academic absurdity” William Kennedy, executive director of the NYS Writers Institute stated in a press release. Many of her works were “comedies of manners of our time but with a deeply human strain,” he said. “She is a superior prose stylist with a wickedly satirical talent,” Kennedy added.Cuomo said that Lurie and Marie Howe, the newly appointed State Poet, “represent the rich talent and diversity that New York has to offer.”“Both of them have inspired New Yorkers all across the state, and their works are major assets to us all. They are truly deserving of this honor, and hopefully their great work will now reach a new and even wider audience,” Cuomo said.

Original Author: Jonathan Dawson