A Conversation with George Packer and Phil Klay

A Conversation with George Packer and Phil Klay, Sept. 23

George Packer, one of America’s foremost chroniclers of American life and foreign policy, will join Fairfield MFA professor Phil Klay for a talk entitled "Life in the Ruins: America at Home and Abroad, 20 Years After 9/11."

Media Contact: Robby Piazzaroli, rpiazzaroli@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2597

On Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m., George Packer, award-winning author and staff writer at The Atlantic, will join Phil Klay, a professor in Fairfield’s MFA program, United States Marine Corps veteran, and National Book Award-winning author, to discuss the impact of 9/11 on the past two decades.

Packer’s previous books include The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (winner of the National Book Award), The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, and Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century (winner of the Hitchens Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography). He is also the author of two novels and a play, and the editor of a two-volume edition of the essays of George Orwell.

“George Packer is easily one of the most brilliant writers working today,” said Klay. “One who has thought deeply about the changing nature of both American society, and America’s role in the world. I cannot think of a more perfect writer to be in conversation with as we think our way through the legacy of 9/11, both at home and abroad.” 

The pair will discuss the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as well as Packer’s new book, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal, which was released in June 2021. They will also address questions sourced from Fairfield University students.

Klay is also at the helm of the Fairfield MFA veterans’ community, leading workshops and supporting veteran writers. He served in Iraq’s Anbar Province as a public affairs officer before receiving his MFA from Hunter College of The City University of New York. Released this past October by Penguin Press, Missionaries is Klay's debut novel. His short story collection Redeployment won the 2014 National Book Award, and Missionaries was chosen by former President Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2020, and was also named one of “The 10 Best Books of 2020” by The Wall Street Journal.

This virtual event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

For information about “Life in the Ruins America at Home and Abroad, 20 Years After 9/11”, please visit quickcenter.com.

Posted On: September 23, 2021

Volume: 53 Number: 15

Fairfield University is the modern Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.