Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dr. Kellman Honored by National Book Critics Circle

On Tuesday, Palo Alto College President, Dr. Ana M. "Cha" Guzman, treated me to UTSA's "Great Conversations" event held at the Institute of Texas Cultures. According to the UTSA Great Conversation website, it is a signature event to benefit the UTSA Honors College. Great Conversation is a unique event in San Antonio with prominent community leaders and UTSA professors hosting conversations on diverse, exciting and stimulating topics. The event also increases public awareness about the important cultural and intellectual role that UTSA plays in the City of San Antonio.

The topic of conversation I chose was Literary Silences hosted by Steven Kellman, Ph.D., a UTSA Professor of Comparative Literature and author. The conversation centered on Henry Roth, who published his second novel 60 years after his first. We also discussed Harper Lee, who never wrote a second novel after publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird." We also touched upon J. D. Salinger who continues to write but has not published anything in the past 40 years. The conversation was about writers' blocks and reclusions. It was a wonderful evening with throughly thought-provoking and engaging conversation.

Well, imagine my delight when I found out today that Dr. Kellman was named the winner of the 2006 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle. The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization consisting of nearly 700 active book reviewers who honor quality writing.

Congratulations, Dr. Kellman!