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  • NYS Writers Institute

Jay Parini, "a writer who contains multitudes"

We present a wide-ranging, fun, and at all times literary conversation with Jay Parini, who shares the most wonderful stories of his encounters with his friend Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger, his mentor the Scottish poet and translator Alastair Reid, and the subject of his newest book, Jorge Luis Borges.

Jay is a poet, novelist, biographer, screenwriter, critic and professor at Middlebury College, where he has been a faculty member since 1982. A prolific author, he has published eight novels, six collections of poetry and 12 books of nonfiction and criticism, including full-length biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, and Gore Vidal.

His most recent book is a memoir titled Borges and Me: An Encounter, published in 2020 by Doubleday. Michael Greenberg, writing in The New York Times Book Review said: “It brings Borges more sharply to life than any account I’ve read or important contribution to the biography of a major writer...a delicious treat.” Purchase Borges and Me at the local, independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Learn more about Jay Parini

New York Times review of Borges and Me, by Michael Greenberg, Aug. 18, 2020

"My Mentor Alastair Reid", by Jay Parini. published in The Best American Poetry, April 21, 2016


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