The Queens College Evening Readings is one of the most prestigious literary events in New York City. Founded in 1976 by Queens College Professor Joseph Cuomo, the series features award-winning authors who visit our campus to do a reading and participate in a moderated discussion and Q&A with the audience. During the last 40+ years we have featured: Arthur Miller, Doris Lessing, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Edward Albee, E.L Doctorow, Colum McCann, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Cheever, Mona Simpson, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Jonathan Safran Foer, Junot Diaz, and Tom Wolfe, among many other prominent authors. The series takes place on select Tuesdays during the academic year at our beautiful LeFrak Concert Hall and is open to the college community and the general public.
Evening Readings Fall 2018 Calendar
*All events take place in LeFrak Concert Hall / Choral Room at 7 P.M.*
Evening Readings 2018-2019 will highlight the complex art of music writing, from definitive biographies of beloved musical icons; to new findings related to the lives and careers of international artists; to fiction writing about rock bands in a future time. Join us to learn about the creative process of these award-winning authors and the fascinating musicians they wrote about.
• October 23, 2018 – James Kaplan
James Kaplan has been writing noted fiction, journalism, and biography for over four decades. In November 2010, Doubleday published Frank: The Voice, the first volume of Kaplan’s definitive biography of Frank Sinatra. The book was also a New York Times bestseller, and was chosen by Times chief book critic Michiko Kakutani as one of her Top Ten Books of 2010. In 2012, Kaplan was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for nonfiction. In October 2015, Doubleday published the bestselling second volume of his Frank Sinatra biography, Sinatra: The Chairman, which won the Biographers International Organization’s Award for Excellence in Biography. In Spring 2019 Yale University Press will publish Kaplan’s Irving Berlin: New York Genius, as part of its Jewish Lives series. James Kaplan lives in Westchester, New York with his wife and three sons.
• November 13, 2018 – Ricky Riccardi (event presented in conjunction with KCA’s Louis Armstrong Series*)
“Through a combination of intricate research and unbridled enthusiasm, Ricky Riccardi has become the 21st century’s foremost expert on Louis Armstrong.” — Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online
Ricky Riccardi is the Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years. He runs the online blog, “The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong,” and has given lectures on Armstrong at venues around the world, including the Institute of Jazz Studies, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Riccardi will discuss the last 25 years of the life and career of Louis Armstrong. These were Armstrong’s most popular years but in the jazz world, many critics spent those years criticizing Armstrong for “going commercial,” for “selling out,” for being an “Uncle Tom” and more. Riccardi’s book refuted those claims, often using Armstrong’s own words to defend himself, words taken from the collections of the Louis Armstrong House Museum and currently found on the Queens College campus.
• December 11, 2018 – Jennifer Egan
On Dec. 11 award-winning author Jennifer Egan will read from her latest novel Manhattan Beach and will discuss the history behind it, sharing with the audience some fascinating glimpses of her creative process. Egan won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for her 2011 book, A Visit from the Goon Squad. Manhattan Beach has been awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was long-listed for the National Book Award.
Purchase your Season Pass, which includes entry to all three events for a low price of $45 (originally valued at $60). Please call the box office for more details.