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Stanford's 'Another Look' book club event: 'The Wife of Martin Guerre'

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stanford's "Another Look" book Club is holding its second event this evening: the selected book is The Wife of Martin Guerre, a novel wrtitten by Stanford poet and author Janet Lewis.

When: Wednesday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Stanford Humanities Center's Levinthal Room
Who: Community event open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis.

In May 1933, a Stanford University Press sales manager was arrested for the murder of his wife at their campus home on Salvatierra Street.

Was it murder or accident? Placid Palo Alto was embroiled in a sensationalized scandal that endured for more than three years. After conviction, appeals and retrials, David Lamson was finally acquitted.

One of the unlikelier outcomes of the notorious case was a series of highly acclaimed novels by Stanford poet Janet Lewis, focusing on historical trials that had been swayed by circumstantial evidence. The most famous was The Wife of Martin Guerre (1941), which eventually became the subject of an opera, a play, several musicals and a film. Atlantic Monthly called it "one of the most significant short novels in English."

The event will be moderated by English Professor Kenneth Fields, who was a friend of the late Janet Lewis (1899-1998) and her husband, renowned poet-critic and Stanford professor Yvor Winters (1900-68). Fields will be joined by acclaimed novelist Tobias Wolff and award-winning Irish poet Eavan Boland, both professors of English. An audience discussion will follow.

Taken in part from the January 28th edition of the Stanford Report, Stanford's 'Another Look' book club to spotlight Janet Lewis' 'Wife of Martin Guerre', written by Cynthia Haven.

"Another Look" is co-sponsored by the Stanford University Department of English, Stanford Creative Writing Program, Stanford Humanities Center and the Stanford University Libraries.

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