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Bethlehem, Pa. October 24, 2005—René Steinke, whose novel Holy Skirts was just nominated for a National Book Award, will read from her work for an art history class at Moravian College on November 7. Steinke’s novel is about Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, an activist and art dealer of the Dada period. Dada was a protest movement of the early 1920s by French and other European artists against the carnage and waste of the recently ended World War I. This is the period that will be under study in Modern Art, taught by Diane Radycki, assistant professor of art and director of the Payne Gallery at Moravian College.
According to one review, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven “treated the streets to inventions from her closet that reflected her uninhibited sexuality and unconventional, to say the least, worldview: things like a bustle with a flashing taillight, a brassiere made from tomato cans, and a vegetable-grater brooch. If you saw someone around town with a shaved head lacquered scarlet, with postage stamps on her cheeks, that would be Elsa.”
Steinke’s novel is a finalist for the NBA fiction prize. The other finalists are The March by E.L. Doctorow; Veronica by Mary Gaitskill; Trance by Christopher Sorrentino; and Europe Central by William T. Vollmann.
Steinke is the sister of Krista Steinke Finch, assistant professor of art (new media), at the College. She also is editor of Literary Review, a trade magazine for writers. She has a previous novel called The Fires.
The class meets from 2:20 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 330 of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex. For further information, please call Michael Wilson at 610 861-1365.