Voltaire's Coffee: Dr. Alexandra Wettlaufer, Associate Director of Plan II Honors Program & Associate Professor of French & Italian; Fall 2009

Wed, September 2, 2009 | This VC will be held at Professor Wettlaufer's home. Address information will be distributed to those registered in the VC.

7:00 PM

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Waoby by Junot Dias, led by Dr. Alexandra Wettlaufer, Associate Director of Plan II Honors and Associate Professor of French and Italian

About the book: Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuk-the curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Daz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss.

About the professor: Alexandra Wettlaufer is an Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Associate Director of the Plan II Honors Program. She specializes in the relationship between painting and literature in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. She received her BA from Princeton and a PhD from Columbia University. Her publications include Pen vs Paintbrush: Girodet, Balzac and the Myth of Pygmalion (St Martins Press, 2001), In the Minds Eye: The Visual Impulse in Prose (Rodopi, 2003) and articles on Baudelaire, Ruskin, Turner, George Sand, and Flora Tristan. She was awarded the Presidents Fellows Teaching Award in 2000 and the Blunk Professorship in Teaching and Advising in 2007

Sponsored by: Plan II Students Association and Plan II Honors Program

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