Changes can occur at any time in a person’s life. Sometimes they are welcome and sometimes they aren’t. Mark Salzman will discuss three recent and hugely unwelcome life-changes that taught him important lessons about hope, free will, and what happens when you feed a dog something that it can’t digest properly.
Salzman will talk about “My Year of Diversity: A Tragicomedy” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center at University of Lynchburg. Tickets are free.
The author of the acclaimed novel Iron and Silk and star of the movie by the same name, Salzman was well received at LC last year, as was his book, Iron and Silk, which was selected as the freshman common reading for the second year running. Iron and Silk, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, is about Salzman’s experience teaching English and studying martial arts in China. The book was chosen in conjunction with University of Lynchburg’s Year of Alliances and Diversity. A book signing and reception will follow.
According to his publicist, all Salzman ever wanted was to be a Kung Fu master, but it was his proficiency on the cello that facilitated his acceptance to Yale at the age of 16. He soon changed his major to Chinese language and philosophy, which took him to mainland China. He never gave up music, though, and Salzman’s cello playing appears on the soundtrack to several films, including the Academy Award-winning documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien. He has also played with Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax at Lincoln Center.
Salzman’s unusual combination of talents led to a feature profile about him in The New Yorker magazine. He was also recently presented with the Algonquin West Hollywood Literary Award.
A number of Salzman’s books have been chosen for “book in common” reading programs by schools and universities. His book True Notebooks is a look at his experiences as a writing teacher at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for violent teenage offenders. Salzman is also the author of the memoir Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia, and the novels The Laughing Sutra, The Soloist, andLying Awake.