Alias O. Henry with Ben Yagoda
Thu Sep 16 2021 at 06:00 pm to 07:00 pmUTC-04:00
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA
AdvertisementO. Henry (born William Sidney Porter) was at the time of his death in 1910 the most successful short story writer in America, yet he held secrets he refused to share even with his intimates. They included why and how he chose his pen name, and where he spent the years 1898-1901. Ben Yagoda, editor of the Library of America’s new collection O. Henry: 101 Stories, will talk about the secrecy and doubleness in the author’s life, and read some of his stories that reflect these themes. "A treasure vault of work by a master of the short story form. . . . Yagoda’s well-selected anthology follows O. Henry through all his phases, from Texas bank clerk to fugitive (on account of embezzlement) in Honduras, federal prisoner, and, finally, reasonably successful New Yorker. The volume’s highlight, of course, is Henry’s best-known and much-loved story, 'The Ransom of Red Chief,' in which two con men kidnap a 'boy of ten, with bas-relief freckles, and hair the colour of the cover of the magazine you buy at the news-stand when you want to catch a train,' who makes their lives a bit of hell on Earth. Most of the stories, 'Red Chief' foremost among them, read as if freshly written. . . . The volume provides ample evidence for why one of American literature’s most eminent literary awards should be named for the author. Essential for students of the short story and for fans of Henry’s work." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) About Ben Yagoda: Ben Yagoda is the author or editor of thirteen books, including About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made, Will Rogers: A Biography, and How to Not Write Bad. In 2020, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to write a novel about O. Henry’s years in New York City. He regularly reviews books for the New York Times Book Review and The Wall Street Journal and has contributed to Slate.com, The Atlantic, The American Scholar, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and publications that start with every letter of the alphabet except X and Z. Between 2011 and 2018, he contributed roughly one post a week to Lingua Franca, a Chronicle of Higher Education blog about language and writing. His personal blogs are notoneoffbritishisms.com and moviesinothermovies.com. A resident of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, he retired in 2018 after twenty-five years teaching writing and journalism at the University of Delaware. Social hour and book signing to follow.
Where is it happening?The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Philadelphia, United States
USD 0 to USD 10