Zadie Smith, Other Amazing Writers to Visit Johns Hopkins

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The MSE Symposium isn’t the only free Johns Hopkins lecture series that brings brilliant minds to campus. The President’s Reading Series, started in 2013 by university president Ronald Daniels, aims to bring top writers to Baltimore to read their work to students, staff, faculty, and the public. Last year’s list of authors was impressive; this year’s is even more so.

All readings run from 6:30 – 8 PM, and are free and open to the public.

Lawrence Hill (Sept. 23, Hodson 110) – A novelist and memoirist, best known for Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada and Someone Knows My Name. Hill’s work explores issues of identity and belonging.

Alan Hollinghurst (Oct. 21, Hodson 110) – English novelist, poet, and short story writer; winner of the 2004 Booker Prize; best known for novels The Line of Beauty and The Stranger’s Child. Hollinghurst’s debut novel, The Swimming-Pool Library, has been called “the best book about gay life yet written by an English author.”

Aleksandar Hemon (March 31, location TBA) – Bosnian-American essayist and novelist; winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship; best known for The Lazarus Project: A Novel and his frequent contributions to the New Yorker — including this incredibly sad & moving essay, one of the best I’ve ever read.

Zadie Smith (April 28, location TBA) – English novelist and essayist; Smith’s first novel, White Teeth, published when she was just 25, was both a critical and commercial hit. Since then, she’s penned two more novels and a number of notable essays — this one, about joy, is a personal favorite.



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