The Story of America in Seven Great Books
Joseph Luzzi / Bard College
What does it mean to be “American”? What are the books that have had the greatest impact on U.S. history and culture? How can fiction illuminate the hard truths of American life?This fascinating presentation will lead audiences through the world of American literature, as we explore how masterpieces ranging from Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, and more, reveal the characters and conflicts of the American spirit.
Joseph Luzzi (PhD, Yale) is Professor of Comparative Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, and he taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in The New York Times, TLS, The London Times, the Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and on National Public Radio. Dr. Luzzi’s awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. He is the author of five books and recently created The Virtual Book Club: an international community of readers dedicated to exploring major literary works past and present.