Writer Stan Persky — Our “Local Socrates”

I am very excited about our first ever NVCL Local Author Series Reading, coming up on November 30th!  I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about the evening’s author, Stan Persky.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Persky was influenced by Beat generation writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. After serving in the U.S. Navy he moved to San Francisco in the early 1960s where he became involved in the “New American Poetry” movement. In 1966, he moved to Vancouver, where he attended the University of British Columbia, receiving degrees in anthropology and sociology, and eventually his Canadian citizenship. During the 1960s and ’70s, he worked as an early staff member of the Georgia Straight, and co-founded  the “Georgia Straight Writing Supplement,” which eventually became New Star Books.

Persky went on to work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and as a college instructor in the sociology department of Northwest College in Terrace, British Columbia. Since 1983, he has been a political studies and philosophy professor at Capilano University here in North Vancouver.

 He has written or edited a whopping 20 books. And he has apparently had spare time to work as a media commentator for the CBC, a literary columnist for The Globe and Mail and The Vancouver Sun, and has written for The Body Politic, This Magazine, New Directions, Saturday Night, Sodomite Invasion Review, Books in Canada and most recently The Tyee, as well as being a frequent contributor to Dooney’s Cafe.

In 2010, Persky won the British Columbia Lietenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence because of the “intellectual and moral integrity he brings to his work as a writer who engages with some of the most difficult questions facing society, and because of the great contributions he has made to the literary canon of Canada and British Columbia,” according to the award jury, who went on to call Persky “our Socrates.”

His newest book, Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2009, examines the triumphs and tensions of reading and writing today by evaluating recent international non-fiction and fiction works. In it, he examines writers like Philip Roth, Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, and José Saramago, as well as emerging voices Naomi Klein, Javier Cercas, and Chimamanda Adichie.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 30th for a reading with this prolific and impressive local author!  Doors will open at 6:30 in the G. Paul Singh room on the third floor of the library for refreshments, and the reading will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.cnv.org/nvcl//server.aspx?c=3&i=44.

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