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TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, environmental author and activist, will discuss her most recent book, The Hour of Land—a meditation on the necessary majesty of America’s national parks. When Frederick Law Olmsted designed America’s first urban park system here in Buffalo, he understood that parks not only “refresh and delight the eye” but also the “mind and spirit.” In keeping with Olmsted’s philosophy, Williams’s poetic language and soulful explorations of parks as “portals and thresholds of wonder” compel us to confront our stewardship of natural resources. (Photograph of Terry Tempest Williams ©2014 zoë rodriguez photography)More Info
TONI MORRISON, Nobel Prize winner, will honor a momentous day in Buffalo’s history—exactly 50 years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King spoke here at Kleinhans Music Hall on “The Future of Integration.” BABEL audiences will return to Morrison’s novel, Beloved—her masterpiece ghost story about how the specter of slavery haunts us. Fifty years ago, Dr. King dared to imagine a future free of segregation. Let us come together to be inspired by Toni Morrison’s wisdom as we imagine the next fifty years. (Photograph of Toni Morrison courtesy Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)
VIET THANH NGUYEN, Pulitzer Prize winner, was born in Viet Nam and came to the United States as a refugee at the age of four. The feeling of being an outsider or “other” defines Nguyen’s writing. In honor of Buffalo’s proud record of welcoming more than 2,000 refugees this year alone from around the globe and ranking 8th in the country for the number of Syrian families who have resettled here in our community, we will read Nguyen’s latest book, The Refugees. This beautiful collection of short stories explores universal and urgent themes of love and family, the histories we hold within us and the people “we can’t afford to forget.” (Photograph of Viet Thanh Nguyen courtesy of The Tuesday Agency)
JUNOT DÍAZ, MacArthur “genius,” was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New Jersey when he was 6 years old. As a non-native speaker, Díaz mastered the English language as a young boy by reading—walking four miles, each way, to his public library to immerse himself in the world of books. Now a Professor of Writing at MIT, his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao earned him a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named TIME Magazine’s Best Book of the Year. More recently, critics named this bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny portrait of a multigenerational family with its “mash-up of Dominican history, comics, sci-fi, [and] magic realism” “the best novel of the 21st century to date.” (Photograph of Junot Díaz © Nina Subin)
General Admission (Single) – $110, General Admission (Pair) – $190, General Admission (3 or more) – $95 each, VIP Patron (Single) – $275, VIP Patron (Pair) – $495