LIVE from NYPL: Anne Carson, Hilton Als, and Sam Anderson: Herakles in New York
The poet and translator joins The New Yorker theater critic to read and discuss H of H Playbook, her recreation of Euripides’s 5th-century BC play Herakles.
The myth of Herakles, aka Hercules, is the tale of a “brutalized and brutalizing hero.” Returning home after years of his famous and violent “labors,” Herakles finds he cannot adapt himself to a life of peacetime domesticity. He goes berserk and murders his whole family. Suicide is his next idea, but thanks to the intervention of his friend Theseus, Herakles comes to believe he is not indelibly stained by his own crimes, nor is his life without value.
Anne Carson’s H of H Playbook is a “strange and surprisingly timely” reimagination of Euripides’ play. She reads selections from the book along with Hilton Als, followed by an interview with Sam Anderson from The New York Times Magazine.
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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living.
Hilton Als is a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and chief theatre critic at The New Yorker. He has received numerous awards, including the New York Association of Black Journalists' first prize for Magazine/Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment, a Guggenheim fellowship for Creative Writing, a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and the American Academy's Berlin Prize. He is a Professor at Columbia University's Writing Program, and his work has appeared in The Nation, The Believer, and New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City.
Sam Anderson is a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, where he has written portraits of writers (Haruki Murakami, Anne Carson, John McPhee) and athletes (Kevin Durant, Bill Walton, Phil Jackson) and odd places all over the world, including Mount Rushmore and a Charles Dickens theme park. His work has won a National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism, as well as the National Book Critics Circle's Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and has been included in multiple "Best American Writing” anthologies. Anderson is the author of the book Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis.
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LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.
This program is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Additional support is provided by the Consulate General of Canada in New York.