Books at the Center: Dorothy Hale

Fri January 15th 2021, 12:00pm
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 Books at the Center: Dorothy Hale

Please join us on Friday, January 15th for the Center for the Study of the Novel’s second book launch event of the year. We are delighted to welcome Dorothy Hale, Professor of English at University of California Berkeley, to celebrate her most recent book, The Novel and the New Ethics (Stanford UP, 2020) 


Here is a short description of Prof. Hale’s new work: 


In The Novel and the New Ethics, Dorothy Hale argues that contemporary writers such as Toni Morrison, J.M. Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Gish Jen, Richard Russo, and Marilynne Robinson all share the belief that knowing and being responsible to people different from oneself is the defining ethical task of the fiction writer. Importantly, all these contemporary writers each pursue that ethical task with a full awareness of the political and ideological limitations that make the goal of “becoming other” an aspirational ideal that inspires an ongoing ethical endeavor. The art of the novel becomes defined with increasing explicitness as an aesthetics of alterity made visible as a formalist ethics. In the literary tradition Hale brings to light, the commitment to otherness confers upon the genre an artistic intensity and richness that extends to the novel's every word. 


Nancy Ruttenburg (English, Stanford) and Alex Woloch (English, Stanford) will serve as respondents to Professor Hale.  


The discussion will take place online. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link. Those who wish to read The Novel and the New Ethics’ preface and first chapter before the session should request the PDF by contacting Victoria Zurita (vzuritap [at]


You can register here.


This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome, and we hope to see you there! 


Cynthia Vialle-Giancotti

Casey Patterson

Victoria Zurita