This April we’re excited to be launching a new reading and discussion series called The Art of Criticism, hosted by the critic and writer Lauren Elkin. These events will feature working literary critics sharing their philosophies, methods, and complaints, and to further the conversation about what criticism is and what it is for.
For our first event we welcome Lila Azam Zanganeh, whose fearless, triumphant first book, The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness, shreds the straitjacket of conventional literary criticism, tackling the subject of happiness in the celebrated author’s work from an array of different angles – literary commentary, biography, memoir, glossary, even an invented interview between herself and Nabokov.
Lila Azam Zanganeh was born in Paris to Iranian parents. After studying literature and philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she moved to the United States to teach literature, cinema, and Romance languages at Harvard University. In 2002, she began contributing literary articles, interviews, and essays to a host of American and European publications, among which The New York Times, The Paris Review, Le Monde, and La Repubblica. She was the recipient of the 2011 Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism, awarded each year by the Center for Fiction. She writes and lives in New York City.