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Two new readings set for Alkek Library


Texas State University has announced two readings on the fifth floor of Alkek Library for February.

Indonesian poet Li-Young Lee will read on Feb.5 at 3:30 p.m., and Holocaust scholar James Young will read on Feb. 26 at 3:30 p.m. Young’s reading is part of the Therese Kayser Lindsey Series.

Lee’s great grandfather was China’s first republican President, and his father, a deeply religious Christian, was physician to Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Lee’s parents escaped to Indonesia. Lee was born to them in Jakarta in 1957.

After Lee’s father spent a year as a prisoner in President Sukarno’s Indonesian jails, the family fled Indonesia in 1959 to escape anti-Chinese sentiment. After a five-year trek through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, the family settled in the United States in 1964.

Lee is the author of Behind My Eyes (Norton, 2008); Book of My Nights (2001), which won the 2002 William Carlos Williams Award; The City in Which I Love You (1991), which was the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; and Rose (1986), which won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award.

His other work includes Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee (Edited by Earl G. Ingersoll, BOA Editions, 2006), a collection of twelve interviews with Lee at various stages of his artistic development; and The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (Simon and Schuster, 1995), a memoir which received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

Young is professor of English and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the author of At Memory’s Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press, 2000). Young also wrote The Texture of Memory (Yale University Press, 1993), which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1994, and Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust (Indiana University Press, 1988), which won a Choice Outstanding Book Award for 1988.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Texas State alumnus Lyndon Baines Johnson and to reflect on the need for civic responsibility, Young will discuss his work on the Holocaust and his involvement on the Findungskommission Holocaust memorial in Berlin, as well as the World Trade Center Memorial design competition.