Events | Beyond the Virgin Land

Los Angeles | December 3, 2021

Novelist Alexandra Kleeman in conversation with Thomas Mann Fellow Heike Paul.

In her latest novel, Something New Under the Sun, New York-based author Alexandra Kleeman tells the story of a novelist who discovers the dark side of Hollywood. She describes a California scarred by droughts and forest fires, where only the rich can afford to survive.

In conversation with Heike Paul, American Studies Scholar and 2021 Thomas Mann House Fellow, Kleeman will reflect on old and new myths of the American West. What role does Hollywood play in those mythical hopes and longings, but also in their disenchantment? What makes Hollywood such a special place to reflect on the state of the country and the world? And what can literature contribute to rewriting cultural imaginaries that make a sustainable future imaginable - and realizable?



© Fred Tangerman

Alexandra Kleeman is the author of the novels Something New Under the Sun (2021) and You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine (2016), which was named an Editor's Choice by The New York Times. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, Conjunctions, and Guernica, among others. Other works have appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Tin House, n+1, and The Guardian. She is a winner of the Berlin Prize and the Bard Fiction Prize and was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Kleeman lives in Staten Island and teaches at The New School.





© Karoline Glasow

Heike Paul is Professor of American Studies, with a focus on North American literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Her research interests in the field of a culturally hermeneutically oriented American Studies deal, among other things, with cultural patterns of community formation in the United States. She was awarded the Leibniz Prize in 2018 and the Order of Maximilian for Science and Art in 2021. Her publications include: American Citizenship Sentimentalism (2021), The Myths That Made America (2014), and Cultural Contact and Racial Presences: African Americans and German American Literature, 1815-1914 (2005).




Thomas Mann House
1550 N San Remo Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

By invitation only.


An event by the Thomas Mann House.

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