Brooklyn BookBeat: Author to speak in Fort Greene
By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Clinton Hill resident Susan Choi, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-nominated author of “A Person of Interest” and “American Woman”, earlier this month has released her latest novel, “My Education” (Viking). The celebrated author will appear at Fort Greene’s Greenlight Bookstore on July 30 for a reading and book signing.
An energetic depiction of an unconventional romance, “My Education” begins in 1992, when Regina Gottlieb embarks on her graduate education. In a recent interview, the author told the Brooklyn Eagle, “My experiences as a student – undergrad and grad – certainly informed this novel, as did my experiences as the daughter of a professor. I've spent a lot of time around the academic world.”
Regina, the narrator in Choi’s book, has been warned about a particular professor who has gained notoriety for his alleged sexual deviance. Against her better judgment, Regina becomes this professor’s teaching assistant and is quickly inundated in his world even outside of school. But in a surprising twist, it is the professor’s wife – a new mother – who comes between Regina and her studies.
Choi told the Eagle that her novel was inspired by her reflection of her life pre- and post-motherhood. “I've become one of those people whose whole outlook on life was unexpectedly revised by the arrival of children,” she explained. “I was really oblivious to children – their very existence, let alone their lives and needs – when I was a childless young woman. Pondering that change in myself got me thinking about what would happen if a young and naive and passionate and, it has to be said, rather self-centered young woman got involved with a lover who had a young child.”
Choi, who works at a shared writers’ workspace called Powderkeg on Flatbush Avenue, says she is now developing a few story ideas, hoping that one will take off.
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The July 30 event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight is located at 686 Fulton St. in Fort Greene.
Susan Choi’s first novel “The Foreign Student” won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, “American Woman,” was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and her third, “A Person of Interest”, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, in 2010 she received the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. She teaches at Princeton and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and sons.