A Reading by Vivian Gornick

Thursday, March 7, Reception: 6:15 PM
Event: 7–8:30 PM
Q-Side Lounge, Dining Hall Room 122
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Please join us for a reading by the legendary Vivian Gornick. Memoirist, critic, and CUNY graduate, Gornick is a pioneer of creative nonfiction, writing with unwavering willingness to share from her experiences to explore larger social issues.

Gornick will read from her extensive body of work, then join in a question and answer session moderated by MFA alum Catherine LaSota. This is surely an event not to be missed, so if you can’t make it to our beautiful Queens College campus, be sure to login over Zoom so you don’t miss a thing!

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For Vivian Gornick, self-narrative is a form of cultural criticism: The personal is decidedly political. Born in the Bronx, she grew up in a family of working-class immigrants with parents who were committed Communists. Since the 1960s, she has been a writer of journalism, essays, and memoirs. Much of her writing explores the actual and metaphoric significance of being an outsider—perpetually “half in, half out.” Despite her claim that feminism ended her attachment to Judaism, the experience of being “twice an outsider” (Jewish and female) serves for her as a powerful lesson in marginality. In works on feminist radicals Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Emma Goldman, she has expanded the autobiographical form to include the biographical, offering an ideological and genealogical starting point for Gornick’s own involvement in second wave feminism. She is currently at work on a book about CUNY’s City College of New York.

Catherine LaSota (MFA in Creative Nonfiction ‘24, Queens College) is the Associate Director of Social Practice CUNY. She is the founder of the Resort writing community and host of the Cabana Chats podcast on writing and community. From 2015–2020, Catherine hosted the acclaimed LIC Reading Series, and she is the former executive director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University. Her writing appears in Literary Hub, Electric Literature, Vice, The Brooklyn Rail, Catapult, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She lives with her husband and two young children in Queens.