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Lucienne S. Bloch, Whistling in the Dark: Personal Essays, with Barbara Ascher

Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 6:00 PM | Members' Room | open to the public | free of charge | registration required

‚ÄčIn Whistling in the Dark, Lucienne S. Bloch shares her beautifully written personal essays exploring her New York City world from the 1950s to the present.

Growing up in the 1950s as the daughter of refugees from Hitler’s Europe who longed for their former lives and culture, these essays explore such topics as her youth, her mother’s Viennese upbringing, her father’s work in the diamond business and long battle with Alzheimer’s, the evolution of a typewriter, the landscapes of New York, Bloch’s ongoing sense of alienation, and her development as a writer.

Readers will be swept up in the graceful prose that distinguishes Lucienne S. Bloch’s award-winning work. The universal themes of memory, belonging, family, identity, survival, and aging are artfully woven throughout the essays in Whistling in the Dark and will resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds. In this one-of-a-kind event, Ms. Bloch converses with author and journalist Barbara Ascher.

Lucienne S. Bloch was born in Belgium, raised on the Upper West Side, and graduated from Wellesley College, where she received an Academy of American Poets Award and a prize from the New England Poetry Society. She subsequently worked at New Directions, and then at Random House. After marrying and raising three children, she began writing fiction. Her first novel, On the Great Circle Route, was published by Simon & Schuster. Her second novel, Finders Keepers, was published by Houghton Mifflin. One of her short stories was chosen for the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project and is anthologized in The Sound of Fiction. She wrote "Hers" columns for The New York Times, was a Resident Fellow at Yaddo, and was awarded a Fellowship in Fiction by the New York Foundation for the Arts. She began writing personal essays sixteen years ago. They have been published in Raritan, North American Review, Sewanee Review, Southwest Review, and Five Points, and one was excerpted in Harper's. Four were cited as Notable in The Best American Essays of 2011, 2014, 2017, and 2021.

Barbara Lazear Ascher is the author of five nonfiction books: Playing After Dark, The Habit of Loving, Landscape Without Gravity, Dancing In The Dark: Romance, Yearning and The Search for The Sublime, and, most recently, Ghosting: A Widow's Voyage Out. She has been a columnist for The New York Times and Elle Magazine, and a book reviewer and contributor to NPR, The Yale Review, The Washington Post, and many other newspapers and journals.