Former Ploughshares editor Don Lee reading at Harvard Bookstore

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On July 24th, 2012, Don Lee read from his new novel, The Collective, at Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, MA in an event co-sponsored by Ploughshares. Lee was the editor of Ploughshares for 19 years!

Rachel Cass, Marketing Manager Harvard Bookstore, introduced Lee. Here’s the gist, from his website:

Don Lee is the author most recently of the novel The Collective. He is also the author of the novel Wrack and Ruin, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prizethe novel Country of Origin, which won an American Book Award, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and a Mixed Media Watch Image Award for Outstanding Fiction; and the story collection Yellow, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members Choice Award from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. All of his books have been published by W. W. Norton.

There was a great crowd at the event, which included DeWitt Henry, founding editor of Ploughshares, and Ann Beattie, a Ploughshares guest editor Lee worked with and knew from his Boston years.

Lee started the evening by reading a couple of passages from The Collective. Engaging characters, who start the novel as undergrads at Macalester College, immediately pull you into the story. Next, Lee answered some questions. In this video, Lee describes how he started writing his novels after leaving his demanding post at Ploughshares — and how he met his goal of publishing a book before his 40th birthday.

In this next video clip, Lee talks about his writing process, which in his own words is extremely “geeky.” Despite all evidence to the contrary, this video was not sponsored by Moleskine.

The first 10 guests who purchased a copy of The Collective at the event received one of Don Lee’s guest-edited issues of Ploughshares

Thank you to Harvard Bookstore for hosting the event, and to Don Lee for an engaging and thought-provoking evening! You can find out more about Don Lee on his website, and visit Harvard Bookstore’s website for details on future events.