Author Chang-rae Lee to Speak at People & Stories Benefit

Author Chang-rae Lee

Award-winning novelist Chang-rae Lee will read from his work at a wine and dessert reception to benefit People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos on April 13 at the Nassau Club in Princeton.

Lee is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University, where he has also served as program director.  His novels include Native SpeakerA Gesture Life,  and  Aloft,  all of which have won critical acclaim and several awards, including the PEN/ Hemingway and Asian American Literary Awards.

His most recent novel, The Surrendered, won the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Immigrating at age 3 from Korea to the United States, Lee is familiar with the outsider’s perspective.  His characters experience the cultural divide and his themes often explore the problems of identity and assimilation.

Tickets for the fundraiser start at $100 per person. Donations of $250 and above includes dinner with the author. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, or to make a reservation, please contact People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos Executive Director Pat Andres at (609) 393-3230 or e-mail

People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos has been connecting lives to literature through reading and discussion programs since 1972.  The program began in Spanish in a housing project in Cambridge, Mass. when founder Sarah Hirschman organized a group of Puerto Rican women for a Gente y Cuentos pilot series.  Programs in Spanish continued in community centers in Trenton  and in a barrio outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  In 1981, the project expanded to include programs in Florida, Texas, New York, and Puerto Rico.

The program in English, “People & Stories”, began in 1986 in New Jersey and the project became a non-profit  in 1993.  The program continued to expand by serving regional audiences with programs throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  In 2005, People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos developed “Crossing Borders with Literature”, a program model that invites suburban participants to join programs, forging connections that cross municipal, socioeconomic, racial, and cultural lines.

People & Stories programs reach youth, adults, and seniors in diverse social service agencies, including residential treatment facilities, prisons, homeless shelters, adult education programs, libraries, senior centers, and alternative schools on the local, regional, and national levels. In each program, coordinators read a short story as participants follow along with  copies. A discussion follows as coordinators invite participants to reflect on questions and share their understanding of the text through the lens of their own life experiences.