SPENCERTOWN — Spencertown Academy Arts Center, in conjunction with Chatham Bookstore, features Dinitia Smith at an event celebrating her new book, ‘The Prince: a Novel’ at 2 p.m. on April 30. She will be joined in a conversation with author Ruth Reichl. Advance reservations are required. Tickets are $10 and are available at www.spencertownacademy.org.
“Money. Power. Sex. Family. Dinitia Smith’s retelling of Henry James’ ‘The Golden Bowl’ is a modern classic with twists even James couldn’t imagine,” said Jill Kalotay, member of the Academy Board of Trustees “And we’re thrilled to have our esteemed neighbor from Spencertown, Ruth Reichl, participating in what is sure to be a fascinating conversation.”
Smith uses the modern equivalent of the glittering setting of Golden Age high society to tell the story of a father and daughter and the prince who separates them. Partly set on Woodford Island, based on Gardiners Island off East Hampton, NY, “The Prince” reconstructs the claustrophobic tension of the original while exploring the four central relationships with a fresh, contemporary look.
Smith is the author of four previous novels and her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines. For 11 years she was a reporter for the New York Times where she wrote about literary topics and intellectual trends. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She is also an Emmy award-winning filmmaker. His film, “Passing Quietly Through”, was selected for the New York Film Festival and presented at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.
Reichl was food critic and food editor for the Los Angeles Times, food critic for the New York Times, and last editor of Gourmet magazine. She has written a novel, two cookbooks and five memoirs. Her most recent book, “Save Me the Plums,” is about her time at Gourmet. She was a judge on Top Chef Masters and host of the 8-part series, “Adventures with Ruth” on PBS. She is the recipient of six James Beard Awards. At the moment, she is working on another novel and a documentary on American cuisine.
Both authors’ books will be on sale and the authors will be available for signing after the conversation. Ticket holders will receive 10% off books purchased at the event. The Academy installed air filters in the auditorium; proof of vaccination is required for admission and masks are recommended. This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Spencertown Academy arts organization and the 175th year since the Academy was built as a school in 1847. Now an all-volunteer organization, it offers a varied program of concerts , conferences, courses and gallery exhibitions. . Its signature events – Hidden Gardens, Revels and the Festival of Books – are annual highlights. This summer, the anniversaries of the building and the organization will be celebrated with a one-day community festival.
Housed in an 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown. For information, see www.spencertownacademy.org.