Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas present “Two Gringos with Questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas.
In this episode prolific author, Jay Parini, talks about his new book, BORGES AND ME: An Encounter, which recounts his time with with literary genius Jorge Luis Borges. He also shares a trove of stories including producing a feature film adaptation of his Gore Vidal biography with Michael Hoffman and Kevin Spacey.
Jay Parini has written six books of poetry and eight novels including New and Collected Poems, 1975-2015, The Art of Subtraction, Benjamin’s Crossing, The Damascus Road, The Apprentice Lover, The Passages of H.M., and The Last Station—the latter of which was translated into over thirty languages and made into an Academy Award-nominated film.
However, he is probably best known for his biographies which range from John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner to Jesus. Other nonfiction works include The Art of Teaching, Why Poetry Matters, Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America, and The Way of Jesus.
He is the recipient of honorary degrees from Lafayette College, the University of Scranton, and Sewanee: The University of the South, and has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Chicago Tribune-Heartland Award. He was the Fowler Hamilton Fellow at Oxford University as well as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of London in 2005-2006.
Additionally, Parini writes articles and op-eds for various publications including The Guardian and The Chronicle of Higher Education, CNN, Salon, and The Daily Beast.
Beyond adapting his Gore Vidal biography into a feature film with director Michael Hoffman, starring Kevin Spacey and Michael Stuhlbarg, adaptations of Benjamin’s Crossing, The Damascus Road, and Borges and Me are also in production.
Parini currently lives in Weybridge, Vermont where he serves on the faculty of Middlebury College.