Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion (SPECIAL EDITION) - Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham

Library Takeout

Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion (SPECIAL EDITION) - Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham

Monday, June 3, 2019, 12 p.m.

Join staff from the National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth with a special Art AfterWords. On June 3, we will discuss Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham as well as the portrait of Whitman in the Gallery... all in the building where Whitman served as a nurse during the American Civil War.

In each section of Michael Cunningham's bold new novel, his first since The Hours, we encounter the same group of characters: a young boy, an older man, and a young woman. Presiding over each episode of this interrelated whole is the prophetic figure of the poet Walt Whitman, who promised his future readers, "It avails not, neither time or place . . . I am with you, and know how it is." Specimen Days is a genre-bending, haunting and transformative ode to life in our greatest city and a meditation on the direction and meaning of America's destiny. It is a work of surpassing power and beauty by one of the most original and daring writers at work today.

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