The 2007 Lionel Trilling Seminar
Respondents: Andrew Delbanco and Jean Strouse
Hermione Lee, "The Hum and Buzz of Implication: Biography and Edith Wharton.”
HERMIONE LEE is the Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, New College. She is the author of numerous essays and biographies, including The Novels of Virginia Woolf (1977), Elizabeth Bowen: An Estimation (1981, revised 1999), Philip Roth (1982), Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up (1989), Virginia Woolf (1996), and most recently, Edith Wharton (2007). She has published editions of the work of Rudyard Kipling, Anthony Trollope, Virginia Woolf, Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather, Beatrice Webb, Edith Wharton, and Eudora Welty, and is a coeditor of the Oxford Poets Anthologies.
Lee has received numerous honors for her work, including an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liverpool and fellowships from the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature, St Hilda’s and St Cross College, Princeton University, and the Beinecke, Lilly, and New York Public Libraries.
Twice a judge for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, in 1981 and 2006, Hermione Lee presented Channel 4 Television's first book programme, 'Book Four', between 1982 and 1984 and is a regular broadcaster for BBC radio. She also contributes frequently to various newspapers and journals, including the Observer and the Times Literary Supplement.
ANDREW DELBANCO is Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and Director of American Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of The Puritan Ordeal and Melville: His World and Work, both of which received the Lionel Trilling Award for the best book published by a member of the Columbia University faculty. Other books include The Death of Satan, Required Reading, and The Real American Dream, and the edited collections Writing New England and The Portable Abraham Lincoln. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education, he was named by Time magazine as "America's Best Social Critic" (2001) and in 2003 was chosen New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities. Delbanco has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, the NEH, and the National Humanities Center. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and past vice president of PEN American Center.
JEAN STROUSE is the Sue Ann and John Weinberg Director of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. She is the author of Morgan, American Financier (1999) and Alice James, A Biography (1980), which won the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy. Her essays and reviews have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. She has recently served as President of the Society of American Historians (2001–2002) and as a consultant (oral historian) to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2000–2002). She is a Fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.