Jean Hanff Korelitz, the author of “Admission: A Novel,” will appear at Bernardsville Public Library to speak about and sign copies of her book on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 pm.
A few years ago, Ms. Korelitz asked the Dean of Admissions at Princeton University, where her husband is a professor, if she could have a job as an outside reader of applications, explaining that she was interested in admissions as the backdrop for a novel. She ended up working there for two years—reading hundreds of applications and learning the landscape of the college admission process. Her novel “Admission” is a product of that time and is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return to shake the protagonist’s life to its core. A wonderful story, it also provides a glimpse into the rarefied world of high-end academia.
Ms. Korelitz, who lives in Princeton, writes on her website that many things fascinated her about the admissions process: “There’s the fact that it is constantly changing, shifting to meet the shifting demands of a shifting society. There’s the fraught, problematic concept of fairness, and how institutions struggle with that. There’s the inescapable challenge of the fact that when you work as an admissions officer at a highly competitive college, virtually everyone you meet is angry at you. And there’s the intellectual hurdle of working in a field where so many of our cultural obsessions (immigration and assimilation, notions of ‘success’, tradition, diversity, even that supposed oxymoron ‘American class’) are jostling for attention.”
Books will be available for purchase and signing at the library event. There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at http://www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/ and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.