April 16, 2014

Labyrinth Books Hosts Reading of Keeley’s New Novel About Princeton’s Megabuilders

Books KeeleyLabyrinth Books and Wild River Review will present a reading by local author and Princeton Professor Emeritus Edmund Keeley from his new novel, The Megabuilders of Queenston Park, which is set in present-day Princeton. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 22, at 6 p.m.

Joyce Carol Oates finds the novel “deftly written … a timely and informed contemporary comedy of manners set in an affluent American suburb and a poignant portrait of a supremely happy marriage between equals.”

According to the publisher, the novel “opens as the town faces mounting changes in its architectural and cultural landscape. Ambitious megabuilders roam the neighborhoods in search of modest postwar houses to tear down and replace with McMansions, forcing out the community’s middle-class residents. Cassie and Nick Mandeville, nearing retirement and protective of their privacy, are thrust into the fray of local politics as they fight against the destruction of their neighborhood by father-and-son builders who plan to erect yet another McMansion next door and to induce the Mandevilles to sell their home as a teardown. While Nick and Cassie navigate the maze of community zoning, they discover an insensitive and possibly corrupt political system, a microcosm of the national political scene during the Bush years.”

Edmund Keeley is a prize-winning novelist, translator, and a noted expert on Greek poets and on post-Second World War Greek history. His many books include the memoir Borderlines; Cavafy’s Alexandria; Voices of Modern Greece; Inventing Paradise: The Greek Journey1937-47; School for Pagan Lovers, and Some Wine for Remembrance.

The author of eight novels, fifteen volumes of poetry and fiction in translation, and ten volumes of non-fiction, Mr. Keeley received the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his first novel, The Libation. His translations of contemporary Greek poets earned him the Harold Morton Landon Award of the Academy of American Poets, the First EEC Prize for the translation of Poetry, and the PEN Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation. He taught English and Creative Writing at Princeton from 1954 to 1994 and served for some years as director of Creative Writing and director of Hellenic Studies. He was twice president of the Modern Greek Studies Association and was resident of PEN American Center from 1992-94. During his retirement, he continues to write regularly and to travel to new and old places.