Lawrence Weschler, former staff writer for The New Yorker and wide-ranging cultural critic, contemplates the transition from the substantive to the virtual with both marvel and dismay. In the shift from books to blogs and other instances of what he calls “the frenzy of rebound,” he depicts a world melting into thin air.
A graduate of Cowell College of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Lawrence Weschler was for over twenty years (1981-2002) a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Awards (for Cultural Reporting in 1988 and Magazine Reporting in 1992) and was also a recipient of Lannan Literary Award (1998). Since 2001, Weschler has been the director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, and in 2006 also became artistic director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.
He is the author of such wide-ranging nonfiction works as True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney (2009); Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences (2006); Vermeer in Bosnia (2005); Boggs: A Comedy of Values (1999); Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology (1996); A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers (1990); and Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin (1982). He also has affiliations with numerous magazines, from the Virginia Quarterly Review to McSweeney’s.
Artistic Director, Chicago Humanities Festival
Author of Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences