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Conversations from the Cullman Center: Celebrating 50 Years of The New York Review of Books. The Future of Literary Journalism: A Conversation with Ian Buruma, Andrew Delbanco, Alma Guillermoprieto, and Zoë Heller, moderated by Robert Silvers and Joseph Lelyveld


April 3, 2013

We are no longer accepting reservations for this event. There will be a stand-by line on the night of the program for guests without a reservation. There is no guarantee seats will become available.

Noted contributors to the Review honor its essential place in contemporary culture. This event, a co-presentation with The New York Review of Books, will take place in the Celeste Bartos Forum.

The founding editor (with Barbara Epstein) of The New York Review of Books in 1963, Robert Silvers has edited over the past 50 years not only every issue of the Review but a number of books, including The First Anthology:  Thirty Years of The New York Review of Books 1963-1993; the widely-praised essay collection Hidden Histories of Science; another on the performing arts, Doing It; and two volumes of The Company They Kept:  Writers on Unforgettable Friendships. He is a Trustee of The New York Public Library, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and he serves on the boards of directors of the American Ditchley Foundation and the Paris Review Foundation.   The French government named him Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 1988 and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur in 1998. His many other honors and awards include, with Barbara Epstein, the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the Literary Community, an honorary Doctor of Letters from Harvard University, and the first New York City Literary Honor presented by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Ian Buruma, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College, was educated in Holland and Japan. He writes for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Corriere della Sera, and NRC Handelsblad. He is the author of over twenty books on culture, history, and politics in Japan and Europe. His most recent works include Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents; Murder in Amsterdam: Liberal Europe, Islam, and the Limits of Tolerance; and Inventing Japan, 1853-1964. His forthcoming book, Year Zero: A History of 1945, which he wrote while he was a fellow at the Cullman Center, will be published by Penguin (USA) in the fall of 2013. In 2008, Buruma was awarded the Erasmus Prize for making “an especially important contribution to culture, society or social science in Europe.” 

Andrew Delbanco is the Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and the Director of American Studies at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was named “America’s Best Social Critic” by Time Magazine in 2001, and has received many fellowships and prizes – among them a National Humanities Medal in 2011 “for his writings on higher education and the place classic authors hold in history and contemporary life.”  His books include College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (2012); The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil; Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now; The Real American Dream; and The Puritan Ordeal. His Melville: His World and His Work (which Delbanco worked on while he was a fellow at the Cullman Center) received Columbia University’s Lionel Trilling Award, as did The Puritan Ordeal.  Delbanco’s essays on American literary and religious history, and education, appear regularly in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and Raritan.
Alma Guillermoprieto, a journalist, writer, and dancer, reports frequently about culture and politics in Latin America for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and a number of Spanish language publications. In 1982, along with Raymond Bonner, she exposed the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador in The New York Times. She is the author of Samba; The Heart that Bleeds: Latin America Now; Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America; and Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of Revolution. She received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1995 and has been a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters since 2003. She has taught at several universities, including the University of Chicago and Princeton University. She divides her time between Mexico and the United States.
Zoë Heller is a journalist, novelist, and a screenwriter. Her articles have appeared in The Independent, The Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The New Republic. In 2002, she won the “Columnist of the Year” British Press Award for her articles in The Daily Telegraph. She is the author of three novels: Everything You Know, Notes on a Scandal (shortlisted for a Booker Prize in 2003 and adapted into a feature film starring Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett), and The Believers.
Joseph Lelyveld was the executive editor of The New York Times from 1994 to 2001.  His career at the Times spanned nearly 40 years, beginning in 1962; he worked as a copy editor, reporter, foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and managing editor before becoming executive editor. His awards include a Fulbright scholarship, a George Polk Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  And in 1986 he received a Pulitzer Prize for his book Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White. He is also the author of Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop and Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India. Lelyveld writes frequently for The New York Review of Books on history, politics, and international affairs.