Writer Aviya Kushner offers talk at UNC Asheville: “Translating Creation – Is it Possible?”

Press release from UNC Asheville:

UNC Asheville’s Visiting Writer Series will present a talk by columnist and author Aviya Kushner at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9 in Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum. Kushner will use the Book of Genesis as a starting point for discussing the challenges of translating and interpreting the Bible, in a lecture titled Translating Creation – Is It Possible? Her talk is free and open to everyone, presented in partnership by UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies, Department of English, and Congregation Beth Israel.

Kushner grew up reading the Bible in its original language of Hebrew, which was also spoken by her family. Later, as an MFA student reading the Old Testament in English, she was struck by major differences of interpretation and began a decade of research resulting in her book The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau, 2015). The book was finalist for The National Jewish Book Award as well as a finalist for the 2016 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature. The Grammar of God was one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Religion Stories of 2015.

Kushner is the language columnist at The Forward, and her writing has appeared nationally and internationally, in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The International Jerusalem Post, The Wilson Quarterly, The Gettysburg Review, and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is a contributing editor at A Public Space and a mentor for the National Yiddish Book Center, and was formerly an online poetry columnist for Barnes & Noble.

Currently, Kushner is associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches creative writing and translation, and she has been awarded a George A and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship in nonfiction for work on her next book, Nomad.

UNC Asheville’s Visiting Writer Series will continue with a reading and talk by David Ebenbach, author of six books including the Orison Fiction Prize-winning novel, Miss Portland, on Nov. 15 at 12:30 p.m. in Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum.

In the spring semester, the series will bring poet, musician and performer Joy Harjo, and novelist David Ebershoff to campus.

Ebershoff is the author of The Danish Girl, adapted into an Oscar-winning film, and the best-seller, The 19th Wife, which was adapted into a television movie. He was formerly vice president and executive editor at Random House.

Harjo has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native American Writers Circle of the Americas, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
For more information, contact Wren Williams in UNC Asheville’s Department of English, williams@unca.edu or 828.251.6411.

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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One thought on “Writer Aviya Kushner offers talk at UNC Asheville: “Translating Creation – Is it Possible?”

  1. We are looking forward to this lecture by an individual who has grown up reading the old covenant portion of the Bible in its original language. This should be very interesting and informative.

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