Lexington, Virginia • September 10, 2010
A Washington and Lee University professor will be among 75 authors from around the globe celebrating World Peace Day on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages and head of the Women's and Gender Studies Program, will read for 15 minutes at approximately 4:15 p.m. EST during 24 hours of live readings on the web for Authors for Peace.
"I feel so honored to be part of such an amazing event," said Radulescu. "It's exciting to connect with so many writers from different countries in this virtual way. This is a momentous event and a celebration of art in the name of peace and world harmony."
The General Assembly of the United Nations first declared World Peace Day, also known as the International Day of Peace, in 1981. "Art cannot stop wars," says the Authors for Peace website, "but great literature-more than any other art-has the power to help people understand one another better." Organizers also hope the online readings will make the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest such event ever. The host is the International Literature Festival Berlin.
Radulescu, who grew up in Romania under a Communist dictatorship, will read from her two novels, Train to Trieste (Knopf, 2008) and Black Sea Twilight (Doubleday, 2010). Train to Trieste won the fiction award from the Library of Virginia. Black Sea Twilight is available in a British edition and on Kindle. Radulescu won Romania's national prize for short story writing when she was 20 but escaped from the country soon after.
"It's going to be interesting to see whether authors are going to choose passages from their works precisely dealing with war and peace or with connected themes such as justice and equality," said Radulescu. "I think I'm going to choose passages that have to do with freedom and justice, because peace is so profoundly contingent on justice and freedom. My novels deal tangentially with war, they have memories of war, but they're not principally, essentially about war."
Radulescu also has written and edited books and scholarly articles on European literature and cultures, and is the founding director of the National Symposium of Theater in Academe.