Pin Drop had the rare and special pleasure of welcoming the extraordinary American author Lore Segal to read for us. Lore has been writing acclaimed short stories for The New Yorker since the 1960s and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2008 for her novel, Shakespeare’s Kitchen. Her fans include Jennifer Egan (“I always feel in her work such a sense of toughness and humour”) and Cynthia Ozick (“[Segal’s writing] is inconceivably moving”) while The New York Times declared Lore “closer than anyone to writing the Great American Novel.”
At 85, Lore was in London to promote her newest novel, Half The Kingdom, and made a special visit to Pin Drop at the Redfern Gallery to read one of the episodic short stories from that book. It was our pleasure to present one of the greatest American novelists at the peak of her powers.
Lore was born to a Jewish family in Vienna and was sent to England as part of the Kindertransport programme at the outbreak of the Second World War. Her experiences living with English foster families over the following years provided inspiration for her first novel, Other People’s Houses. She attended the University of London on a scholarship and studied English Literature before moving to America with her mother in 1951 where she wrote three more novels as well as several children’s books, collaborating with her close friend the illustrator Maurice Sendak.
She married David Segal, an editor at Knopf, and had two children. Between 1968 and 1996, Lore taught writing at Columbia University‘s School of the Arts, Princeton, Bennington College, Sarah Lawrence, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University from which she retired in 1996. She currently teaches at 92 Y, a non-profit community and cultural centre in New York City.
We are extremely grateful to the Redfern Gallery for providing us with a beautiful, historic venue for this Pin Drop narration. The Redfern represents over 30 contemporary artists and artists’ estates and was one of the first London galleries to show the work of sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.