The first step to becoming a better writer is becoming a better reader. But what makes a piece of writing—whether a book or blog post, essay or cover letter—”good”? Who determines that criteria, and does it even matter?
Join Scholar of Note Lauren Oyler for a special 90-minute session devoted to criticism. Hailed “the pre-eminent and most widely read critic of her generation” by the Times, Lauren is celebrated for her irreverence, wit, and willingness to dissent from popular opinion. Blending personal narrative with cutting analysis, her writing seizes upon micro- and macro-phenomena, from semicolons to the moralization of art, in order to capture the essence of life and culture in the twenty-first century.
At the Library, after a preliminary discussion of her work and an audience Q&A, Lauren will engage participants in a criticism workshop. We’ll talk about our favorite books, our least favorite books, and why we love what we love and hate what we hate. Using texts from Renata Adler, Patricia Lockwood, Susan Sontag, and others, we’ll discuss how to respond critically and creatively to others’ work, and learn reading techniques that will help you become a more attentive, imaginative, and occasionally even harsh reader and writer. Book recommendations are included.