Colorado State University Welcomes Acclaimed Czech Novelist for Reading, Discussion Nov. 9 -10

Colorado State University will host a reading and a film with a discussion presented by Czech novelist Arnost Lustig, whose work reflects his survival of the Holocaust.

Lustig will be on campus Nov. 9-10 as part of the International Reading Series. He will present a reading of his fiction Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the North Ballroom of Colorado State’s Lory Student Center.

A reception and book signing will follow at the University Club on campus.

Lustig’s film, "Transport from Paradise," will be shown at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. The showing will be followed by a discussion and reception. All events are free and open to the public.

Lustig has written 13 books, eight of which have been published in English. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has received honors including National Jewish Book Awards in 1980 for "Dita Saxova" and in 1996 for "The Unloved;" an Emmy in 1986 for the best film script for his documentary "The Precious Legacy;" the Czech PEN Club’s 1996 Karel Capek Award for Literary Achievement; and a nomination for a National Book Award for "A Prayer of Katerina Horovitzova."

His screenplays, "Transport from Paradise," "Diamonds of the Night," "Dita Saxova" and "A Prayer for Katerina Horovitzova" have taken first prizes at film festivals in Monte Carlo, Locarno, San Sebastian, Pesaro, Manheim, Amsterdam and Oberhausen. As a writer, he focuses on the possibilities of moral triumph in the face of fear and humiliation.

After World War II, Lustig worked for Radio Prague as a war correspondent in Israel and began earning a strong reputation as a radio reporter, screenwriter and novelist. Five of his novels were adapted as motion pictures, leading to international critical acclaim for his screenplays and his major role in creating what came to be called the Czech New Wave Cinema.

In 1942, Lustig was sent with his parents to Thereisenstadt concentration camp. He was then sent to Auschwitz, where his father died in the gas chambers, and finally to Buchenwald. In 1945 he escaped from the train carrying him to his death at Dachau and returned to Prague where he participated in the anti-Nazi uprising of May 1945.

Due to his involvement in the Czech Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, he was proclaimed an "enemy of the people." He was forced into exile after the Soviet invasion of Prague in August of 1968.

He was later invited to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa and now teaches literature at the American University in Washington, D.C.

Lustig’s books currently in print include "Dita Saxova," "The Unloved – from the Diary of Perla S.," "Children of the Holocaust" and "Indecent Dreams."

Sponsors for the International Reading Series include the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Fund, the English Department, the Graduate School’s Guest Scholars Committee, the Office of International Programs, the College of Liberal Arts, the Organization of Graduate Student Writers, the departments of Political Science and History, Hillel, Students for Holocaust Awareness, Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity, Lory Student Center Governing Board Diversity Grant, University Park Holiday Inn, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, European Student Association and Fort Fund of the City of Fort Collins.

For more information contact Jeff Stein at (970) 491-6428. Lustig’s visit is part of the of the Creative Writing Program Reading Series. The 2000-2001 series also includes the follow programs:

Nov. 30, 2000

  • Mary Crow, poet laureate of Colorado, Colorado State professor and author of "Borders" and "I Have Tasted the Apple," and Judy Doenges, fiction writer, Colorado State professor and author of "What She Left Me;" 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery, Visual Arts Building.

Jan. 18, 2001

  • Clint McCown, fiction writer and editor and founder of "The Beloit Fiction Journal," professor at Beloit College and author of "The Member-Guest" and the forthcoming "War Memorials;" 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

Feb. 8, 2001

  • Stephanie Owen, Steven Church and Jeff Stein, third-year MFA candidates; 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

Feb. 15, 2001

  • Kenneth Koch, poet and author of "New Addresses: Poems," "One Train," "Selected Poems 1950-1988," "Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry," "Rose" and "Where Did You Get That Red?" and winner of the Bollingen Prize in Poetry and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry awarded by the Library of Congress; 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

Feb. 22, 2001

  • Brian Evenson, assistant professor at the University of Denver, fiction writer and author of "Altman’s Tongues" and "Father of Lies;" 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

March 15, 2001

  • John D’gata, nonfiction writer, poet and author of forthcoming "Halls of Fame" and editor of forthcoming "Panharmonica: 25 American Experiments in the Essay, 1975-2000;" 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

March 22, 2001

  • Gary Chang and Akira Yamaguchi, third-year MFA candidates; 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

April 12, 2001

  • Aaron Abeyte, poet and author of forthcoming "Colcha," Colorado Council on the Arts Fellow and instructor at Adams State College; 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.

April 26, 2001

  • John Calderazzo, English professor, nonfiction writer and author of "Writing from Scratch: Freelancing" and "Where the Earth Begins: Volcanoes and Our Inner Lives." Gerry Callahan, associate professor of pathology, nonfiction writer and author of "River Odyssey: A Story of the Colorado Plateau" and "The ‘I’ of the Storm;" 7:30 p.m., Hatton Gallery.