KU News Release


April 18, 2011
Contact: William J. Harris, Department of English, 785-864-2534

Joshua Cohen, author of ‘Witz,’ to speak April 25 at KU

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LAWRENCE — Critically acclaimed author Joshua Cohen will read from his latest novel, “Witz,” at 7 p.m. Monday, April 25, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

A discussion and book signing will follow the reading. The event, sponsored by the Department of English, is free and open to the public.

Cohen is a visiting writer in the English department this spring. His home is in Brooklyn, N.Y. This summer, he will spend a month in Riga, Latvia, having won the 2011 Baltic Writing Residency.

Cohen is the author of four other books, including “Cadenza for the Schneidermann,” “Violin Concerto” and “A Heaven of Others.” His essays, criticism and fiction have appeared in numerous publications including Paris Review, Harper’s, BookForum, London Review of Books and the New York Times Book Review.

“Cohen riffs on borscht-belt humor as easily as he does on metafictional legends such as Thomas Pynchon, another master of the absurdist, picaresque fantasy novel,” wrote Time Out New York. “ ‘Witz’ will stand as a memorable and utterly unique literary experience.”

“It’s the sort of postmodern epic that arrives like a comet about once every decade, like ‘Infinite Jest’ or ‘Gravity’s Rainbow,’ ” wrote the Observer.

“Each of my books invents its own language,” said Cohen. “Reading, then, becomes learning a new language. Ideally, ‘Witz’ teaches the reader how it should be read.”


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