Living Writers Online

A self-paced learning experience, free and open to all.

The Experience

Join Professor Jennifer Brice and fellow Colgate faculty as they explore the work of 10 exciting writers.

Read a couple of classics by John Banville (The Sea) or Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place). Discover why the autobiographical novel by central New Yorker Justin Torres We the Animals has a cult-like following. Afterward, check out Alexander Chee’s edgy How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

We’ve also got combustible short stories (Sour Heart) by Jenny Zhang and prize-winning poems (WHEREAS) by Layli Long Soldier. If you like stories that take you behind the headlines, check out Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel by Dan Slater ’00, or Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie’s haunting novel about a Muslim family torn apart by violence. 

Rounding out the list are two novels that revolve around slightly mad scientists: Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black and CJ Hauser’s Family of Origin. (Full disclosure: CJ is a member of the Colgate creative writing faculty.)

I appreciate that my college is creating this opportunity for me to engage intellectually with prominent writers, along with a Colgate professor and other students of all ages.

Goldie Blumenstyk ’79, senior writer, Chronicle of Higher Education

September 12

Sour Heart book coverJenny Zhang portrait
Jenny Zhang
Sour Heart

September 19

The Sea book coverJohn Banville portrait
John Banville
The Sea

September 26

Wolf Boys book coverDan Slater portrait
Dan Slater 00
Wolf Boys

October 3

Whereas book coverLayli Long Soldier portrait
Layli Long Soldier

October 10

We the Animals book coverJustin Torres portrait
Justin Torres
We the Animals

October 24

Home Fire book coverKamila Shamsie portrait
Kamila Shamsie
Home Fire

November 7

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel book coverAlexander Chee portrait
Alexander Chee
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

November 14

Family of Origin book coverCJ Hauser portrait
CJ Hauser
Family of Origin

November 21

Refuge book coverTerry Tempest Williams portrait
Terry Tempest Williams

December 5

Washington Black book coverEsi Edugyan portrait
Esi Edugyan
Washington Black


Feel free to read, comment, watch, listen, and even lurk as little or as often as you like.

  • Podcast book conversations by Colgate faculty
  • Discussion forum with faculty, students, and LW Online participants
  • Curated list of reviews, interviews, and articles about each author and title
  • Weekly author events, open to the public on campus and via streaming
  • Archived author presentations (available online until mid-December)



Colgate Bookstore

10% off books ordered online or purchased at the Colgate Bookstore through August 10.