KR BlogBlogKR

Roger Rosenblatt Returns to Kenyon

Roger Rosenblatt will return to Kenyon on October 12-13 to read from his latest book, the family memoir Making Toast, now out in paperback.  Making Toast grew out of a December 2008 New Yorker article in which Rosenblatt, with poignancy and humor, recounted life with his three grandchildren and son-in-law after the death of his thirty-eight-year-old daughter.

“Roger Rosenblatt has been one of America’s most distinguished writers and essayists for four decades,” said KR Editor David Lynn. “His essays are noted for their wit and unexpected angles of perspective, and he is also an exceptional novelist and playwright.”

Rosenblatt is the author of twelve books, including the best-selling Rules for Aging: A Wry and Witty Guide to Life; three collections of essays; and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize. He has published two novels, Lapham Rising and Beet, and written six off-Broadway plays. His comic one-person show, Free Speech in America, was named one of the ten best plays of 1991 by the New York Times.

He has also been a contributor to and friend of The Kenyon Review, the nationally known literary journal based at the college. “His playful essays on the writing life, excerpts from his plays, and, this spring, a short play have appeared in the pages of the magazine,” said Lynn. “And his annual talks at the dinner honoring the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in New York are a highlight of the program.”

Rosenblatt’s career has included stints as the literary editor and a columnist for the New Republic, as well as a columnist for the Washington Post.  He is perhaps best known for his television essays on the PBS NewsHour program. For twenty-three years, starting in 1980, he offered eloquent on-air musings on topics ranging from the magic of music on a summer evening to the subtle power conveyed by a photograph of Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon. The television essays earned both a Peabody and an Emmy award.

His essays for Time magazine, where he was an editor-at-large, won two George Polk Awards. His work has also appeared the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Esquire.

A 1962 graduate of New York University, Rosenblatt earned his MA and PhD in English and American literature at Harvard University. He has taught at a number of institutions, including Harvard, Georgetown, and the Columbia School of Journalism, and currently is the Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook University.