Lawrence Weschler is commonly regarded as one of the foremost practitioners of literary nonfiction. His essays long appeared in the New Yorker, and one of his most recent books, Everything That Rises, which drew together a decade’s worth of convergence pieces from McSweeney’s, was celebrated with the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Weschler's latest collection, Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative, continues the author's distinctive blending of political and cultural themes.
An entire section of the book is given over to "Some Probes into the Terrain of Human Rights," including the text from his collaboration with Richard Avedon evoking the precise nature of the witness borne by human rights monitors all over the world; his day-by-day account of the 1998 Rome Conference which, notwithstanding the Clinton administration's profoundly equivocal triangulations, did finally succeed in bringing into being a permanent International Criminal Court; essays on the art of the disappeared (South American artists confronting the legacy of that continent's Dirty Wars of the 1970s and 80s); and his ambivalent response to Peter Eisenman's Berlin monument to the victims of the Holocaust. These parts of the book form the basis for this conversation with Aryeh Neier and Tina Rosenberg.
Lawrence Weschler, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University and former staff writer at The New Yorker
Tina Rosenberg, contributing writer, the New York Times Magazine
Aryeh Neier, president, Open Society Foundations
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