Meet Author Irina Reyn at Spertus Institute
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 4:00 PM
In celebration of Jewish Book Month, join us to hear award-winning author Irina Reyn in one of just two area appearances.
She appears as part of the One Book | One Community, in which a single book is selected as the focus for Jewish Book Month activities across Chicago and the suburbs. This year's selection is Reyn's new book, The Imperial Wife.
As in previous years, the One Book initiative is spearheaded by Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.
The Imperial Wife, which was released earlier this year, is the second novel by Irina Reyn. Called "mesmerizing" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and "playful and profound" by Booklist, it intertwines the stories of two ambitious immigrants. One is a rising Jewish/Russian art specialist at an international auction house in present day New York. The other is the future Catherine the Great as she maneuvers through the 18th-century Russian court. It is notable and relevant that both are capable women grabbling with positions of power, a topic that hasn’t lost its relevancy in the more than three centuries since Catherine lived.
This fast-paced book unpacks a trove of topics that will resonate with readers: the impact of success on marriage, the privileges and obligations of great wealth, and the advantages and disadvantages of being outside the mainstream in terms of faith, gender, nationality, identity, community, and career.
Reyn’s first novel, What Happened to Anna K., won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers. Her work has appeared in publications from Town & Country Travel, to Poets & Writers, to Jezebel. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Like Tanya Kagan, one of the characters in The Imperial Wife, Irina Reyn immigrated to the United States from Moscow when she was seven years old. She has been writing about the experience — in one way or another — ever since.
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs include films, speakers, seminars, concerts, and exhibits — at the Institute’s Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online.
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