James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Professor of Philosophy Andrew Pessin will talk about writing, self-publishing and promoting a novel in a talk pithily titled “How to Pseudonymously Self-Publish an Award-Winning Novel and Make BIG BUCKS!” Pessin will speak at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room in Charles E. Shain Library.
While it incorporates some of his trademark wit (Pessin appeared as “The Genius” in a series of sketches on CBS television’s “Late Show with David Letterman”), his novel — “The Second Daughter” — follows a storyline full of secrets, lies, heartbreaks and betrayals. Full of surprises, Pessin’s novel has a very special ending, which will leave readers to ponder the eccentric but beautiful and humorous love story he has penned under the pseudonym J. Jeffrey.
“I've always wanted to create an alter-ego,” Pessin said of writing under a nom de plume. “But perhaps the most important reason is actually to be found within the novel itself — which I can't give away without spoiling it!”
During the talk, Pessin will touch on how his work as a philosophy professor has influenced his fiction writing and the specifics of self-publishing a novel.
“So many people talk about how there are books they want to write, so with this talk I'm aiming primarily to be helpful, to let people know how incredibly easy self-publishing is … at the same time recognizing how difficult it is to promote the book you publish,” Pessin said.
In his previous books, “Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas from the Smartest Philosophers,” “The God Question” and “The 60-Second Philosopher,” Pessin lightheartedly but intelligently delves into various topics ranging from the history of philosophy, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and ways to expand your mind on a minute — or so — a day.
His talk is free and open to the public.