In the introduction to his New Yorker fiction podcast reading of Denis Johnson’s “Emergency,” famed “dirty realist” Toby Wolff remarked that the story is one known by “every person who fancies herself literate that I’m acquainted with”. I’d submit that any Wesleyan student who considers hirself literate was surely aware of, if not greatly enthused by, the presence of Pulitzer-winning author Michael Cunningham on campus last week. At a reading in Memorial Chapel last Wednesday, Cunningham rattled off a charmingly hurried analysis of the development of the English novel (one could not help but notice the particular attention to his modernist forebears) and proceeded to preview an excerpt from “Sleepless”, a yet unfinished novel ostensibly centered around the peregrinations of two drug-addled youths and their quest for greater self-location.
Notwithstanding an interruption caused by the absence of a page from his manuscript, Cunningham read splendidly.
The Argus published a wonderful account of Cunningham’s chapel evening, but touched only briefly on his master class talks. I was lucky enough to attend one hosted in the Shapiro Center last Friday morning, and happened to record some of his more flavorful remarks.
Stanford is the latest college to severely cut costs for students, expanding financial aid well into the middle class. Students from families earning less than $100,000 will pay no tuition under the new system, and families earning less than $60,000 also get a break on room and board. Stanford has the third largest endowment of all American universities at over $17 billion, so this was not exactly unexpected after Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth announced similar plans in recent weeks.
If this keeps up, your younger siblings might actually go to quality schools without putting your parents out of early retirement.