Monday, February 27, 2006

Lit House Celebrates the Arrival of Its New Penguin Classics Library, Hosts Harper's Wyatt Mason on "The Library and the Writer," March 8

Chestertown, MD, February 27, 2006 — In celebration of the arrival of the new 1,300-volume Penguin Classics Library at the Rose O'Neill Literary House, Washington College presents Wyatt Mason, contributing editor to Harper's Magazine, on "The Library and the Writer," Wednesday, March 8, 2006, at 4 p.m. in the Literary House. The event is free an open to all. Reception and shelving party to follow.

Mason's writing appears in The New Yorker, New York Times, New Republic, London Review of Books, The Nation,, and Harper's, where he is a contributing editor. He has translated the complete works of Arthur Rimbaud, published in three volumes by the Modern Library, and is the recipient of the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Citation for excellence in reviewing. He is currently at work on translations of Dante and Montaigne, a study of 20th century American fiction, and a novel.

After 21 years, the O'Neill Literary House bookshelves will be refreshed through the addition of the Penguin Classics Library, a vast array of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry—ancient and modern—based on definitive texts and translations.

"Penguin has revitalized their line of classic literature in paperback with head-turning new cover designs and fresh introductions by some of the brightest authors from around the world," says Ben Anastas, Interim Director of the O'Neill Literary House. "What better way to revitalize the Lit House than to make the entire Penguin Classic Library available to our students. Normally I don't like to speak for the departed but I think Sophie Kerr would not only approve, but also be proud."

Anastas notes that the library will be regulated by an honor system. "This is a gift to the entire College through the personal donations of many individuals. Alumna Mary Wood donated nearly a third of the money to pay for the collection. We hope that all will use this wonderful gift and preserve it for others to use as well."

The Penguin Classics purchase and reception are made possible by the O'Neill Literary House, the Sophie Kerr Committee, Mary Wood, the Writers' Union, the Friends of the O'Neill Literary House, and donations from the Washington College community.

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