Columbus: Writers on Their Parents

Event date: 
09/26/2019 - 7:00pm

Join Book Culture on Columbus and Harper's Magazine on Thursday, September 26th at 7pm for a discussion of Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents. Editor Lise Funderburg will be joined by contributors Daniel Mendelsohn, John Freeman, Lauren Grodstein, and Marc MewshawHarper's Web Editor, Violet Lucca, will moderate.

It happens to us all: we think we’ve settled into an identity, a self, and then out of nowhere and with great force, the traces of our parents appear to us, in us—in mirrors, in gestures, in reaction and reactivity, at weddings and funerals, and in troubled thoughts that crouch in dark corners of our minds.

In this masterful collection of new essays, the apple looks at the tree. Twenty-five writers deftly explore a trait they’ve inherited from a parent, reflecting on how it affects the lives they lead today—how it shifts their relationship to that parent (sometimes posthumously) and to their sense of self.

Lise Funderburg is a writer and editor and a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home and Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity. Find out more at 

Contributor Bios:

John Freeman is the award-winning editor of the literary biannual Freeman's. His books include The Tyranny of Email, How to Read a Novelist, and Dictionary of the Undoing, as well as two books of poems, Maps, and The Park. He has assembled two anthologies of new writing on inequality, Tales of Two Cities and Tales of Two Americas. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The New York Times, and he is currently executive editor of The Literary Hub. You can follow John's on twitter at @FreemanReads

Lauren Grodstein is the author of four novels, including Our Short History and
A Friend of the Family. She directs the MFA program at Rutgers-Camden. Find out more at

Marc Mewshaw graduated cum laude from Princeton and holds an MFA in creative writing from NYU. He was awarded the Solares Hill short-story prize and nominated for Best New American Voices in 2005, and his travel journalism and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Telegraph,, The Millions, and elsewhere.

Daniel Mendelsohn is editor-at-large of The New York Review of Books and has been a longtime contributor and columnist for such publications as The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, New York, and BBC Culture. He teaches literature at Bard College. Find out more at

Complete list of contributors: Karen Grigsby Bates, S. Bear Bergman, Kate Carroll de Gutes, Leland Cheuk, Lolis Eric Elie, Carolyn Ferrell, John Freeman, Lauren Grodstein, Jane Hamilton, Susan Ito, Mat Johnson, Donna Masini, Daniel Mendelsohn, Marc Mewshaw, Laura Miller, Kyoko Mori, Ann Patchett, Dana Prescott, Lizzie Skurnick, Avi Steinberg, Angelique Stevens, Clifford Thompson, Shukree Hassan Tilghman, Sallie Tisdale, and Laura van den Berg.

Event address: 
Book Culture on Columbus
450 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024
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Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents Cover Image
By Lise Funderburg (Editor)
ISBN: 9781496212092
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: University of Nebraska Press - September 1st, 2019