Artist-in-Residence Showcase: Mark Sarvas - Guild Hall
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Artist-in-Residence Showcase
Mark Sarvas

Event Category:
Thursday, March 11
FREE with suggested donation


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Join Author and Guild Hall’s 2021 Guild House Artist-in-Residence, Mark Sarvas for a discussion on his 2019 American Book Award winning novel, Memento Park. 

After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his girlfriend Tracy and his attorney Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family. As his journey progresses, Matt’s revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt’s narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it. 

Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas’s Memento Park ―about family and identity, about art and history― a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large? 

The evening, produced in partnership with BookHampton, will also feature discussions on and readings of new works/excerpts written during Sarvas’ time as a Guild House Artist-in-Residence. Copies of Sarvas’ Memento Park are available for purchase at the BookHampton storefront or online. 

About Guild Hall’s Guild House Artist-in-Residence Program
Established in 2016, Guild Hall’s Guild House Artist-in-Residence (GHAIR) program offers artists and collectives the time and space to research, experiment, and develop new ideas/projects. Throughout the month-long residency, residents connect with accomplished artists, community leaders, and philanthropists at weekly salon dinners, receive mentorship from select members of our Academy of the Arts and Staff, and visit artist studios, cultural centers, and the natural preserves of the Hamptons. 

Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the Winter 2021 GHAIR program was completed remotely from each artists home/studio.  

  • Mark Sarvas

    Mark Sarvas is the American Book Award-winning author of the novels MEMENTO PARK (FSG) and HARRY, REVISED (Bloomsbury).  MEMENTO PARK has been called “gripping” by Salman Rushdie and “ceaselessly intelligent” by Joseph O’Neill. The Washington Post called it “a fundamentally thoughtful and meditative story” and Newsday called it “… a psychologically rich portrait of family discord.” Winner of a 2019 American Book Award, it was also a finalist for the prestigious Sami Rohr Prize, and won the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries Fiction Award. It was shortlisted for the JQ Wingate Literary Prize, and longlisted for the Sophie Brody Medal. Sarvas was also longlisted for the 2020 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize. His debut novel, HARRY, REVISED, was published in more than a dozen countries around the world, earning raves from Le Monde to The Australian. A finalist for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association’s 2008 Fiction Award and a Denver Post 2008 Good Read, HARRY, REVISED has been called “A remarkable debut” by Booker Prize winner John Banville, and was compared to John Updike and Phillip Roth by the Chicago Tribune. His book reviews and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bookforum, The Huffington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Barnes and Noble Review, Truthdig, The Modern Word, Boldtype and the Los Angeles Review of Books (where he is a contributing editor). He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN America, and has judged the PEN Center USA Fiction Award, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Kirkwood Prize and The Tournament of Books. He is a contributing editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books.  He began his literary career as the host of the popular and controversial literary weblog “The Elegant Variation” (retired), a Guardian Top 10 Literary Blog, a Forbes Magazine Best of the Web pick, and a Los Angeles Magazine Top L.A. Blog. It has been covered by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Scotsman, Salon, the Christian Science Monitor, Slate, The Village Voice, New York Newsday, The New York Sun, NPR’s Day to Day and All Things Considered, and others. His short fiction has appeared in The Drawbridge, Troika Magazine, The Wisconsin Review, Apostrophe, Thought Magazine, Pindeldyboz and as part of the Spoken Interludes, Vermin on the Mount and Swink reading series in Los Angeles. He lives in Santa Monica, where he was a recipient of a 2018 Arts Fellowship, and he teaches advanced novel writing in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Literature from Bennington College. 

    Guild Hall Artist-in-Residence (Winter 2021) 


Event Sponsors

Principal Sponsors: Lucy and Steven Cookson, and The Wunderkinder Foundation 
Lead Sponsor: Christina and Alan MacDonald 
Co-Sponsor: Bobbie Braun-The Neuwirth Foundation
Additional Support: Nina Gillman 
Education Programming supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, Lucy and Steven Cookson, The Wunderkinder Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.  
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