Award-winning actress Kathleen Chalfant (Wit, Angels in America, M. Butterfly) reads selections from Jane Austen's work in a free event at the New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center.
Jane Austen is one of England's most beloved novelists. Born on December 15, 1775 she was never publicly acknowledged as a writer during her lifetime. As a child she began writing comic stories. In her early 20s, Austen wrote the novels that later become Sense and Sensibility (first called "Elinor and Marianne") and Pride and Prejudice (originally "First Impressions"). After many years of revision and rejection, Austen published Sense and Sensibility in 1811 at the age of 35 - identifying the author simply as "a Lady." Pride and Prejudice followed in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1814, and Emma in 1815. The title page of each book referred to one or two of Austen's earlier novels - capitalizing on her growing reputation - but did not provide her name. She died at the age of 41 on July 18, 1817. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published together in December 1817 with a biographical notice written by her brother Henry, in which Jane Austen was, for the first time in one of her novels, identified as the author of her work. Austen's books have never been out of print.
Kathleen Chalfant is a distinguished actress known for her appearances in such productions as Wit, Angels in America, M. Butterfly, Racing Demon, New York City Center Encores!: V, Talking Heads, and Nine Armenians. Her performance in Wit earned her Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, and Los Angeles Ovation awards. Ms. Chalfant is also the recipient of the 2003 Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in Talking Heads. Her film credits include Kinsey,, Murder for Murder, and Side Streets. She has also made several television appearances on shows such as Law & Order and Spin City.
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