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Meir Shalev + Serinity Young

Who Dreamed the First Dream?

Sunday, March 6, 2011
3:00 PM–4:30 PM

Who dreamt the first dream in the Bible? Israel’s most celebrated novelist, Meir Shalev,is the author of Beginnings: Reflections on the Bible’s Intriguing Firsts, a nonfiction book of essays about the Bible. In it he follows the heroes and heroines of the Old Testament, finding the first love ever mentioned in the text, the first kiss, the first laugh, and the first hate. And who dreamt the first dream? With anthropologist Serinity Young (Dreaming in the Lotus), Shalev compare the use of dreams in the biblical and the Buddhist contexts.
Meir Shalev is a master storyteller whose magic realism is similar to the art of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” –Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Israel’s most celebrated novelist Meir Shalev is now making his impact felt on the American literary scene. His books include A Pigeon and a Boy, The Loves of Judith (Four Meals),Fontanelle, Alone In the Desert, But A Few Days, and Esau. Russian Romance (The Blue Mountain) is one of the top five bestsellers in Israeli publishing history. Shalev’s writing is often compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez for his ability to “create worlds inhabited by the richness of invention and obsessiveness of dreams…He delivers both startling imagery and passionate, original characters whose destinies we follow through love, loss, laughter and death” (The New York Times Book Review). In 2011 Shalev is set to publish Beginnings: Reflections on the Bible’s Intriguing Firsts, a nonfiction book of essays about the bible. Also forthcoming in 2011 are My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner anda reprint of The Blue Mountain.
Serinity Young is a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and teaches at Queens College. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 1990 in Comparative Religion and has taught at Southern Methodist University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Hunter College. She has received numerous grants and awards, including a Fulbright and a fellowship at the Center for Writers and Scholars of the New York Public Library. Young has edited The Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion and An Anthology of Sacred Texts By and About Women. She has also authored Dreaming in the Lotus: Buddhist Dream Narrative, Imagery and Practice, and the forthcoming Courtesans and Tantric Consorts: Sexualities in Buddhist Narrative, Ritual, and Iconography.